Omega Fatty Acid Blend Shows Promise in Tackling ADHD

Omega 3-Omega 6 and ADHDA new review article outlines the beneficial role a combination of Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids may play, in addition to other therapies, for individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).

16 Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were reviewed for general assessment.  13 of the studies showed a benefit in participants supplementing with Omega 3 and Omega 6 Essential Fatty Acids.  The levels of benefit appeared to be dependent on the dose as well as the ratio of the fatty acids, the quality of the RCT itself and ADHD subtype being studied.  One study which looked at children in the 6-12 year old age category, participants were able to reduce their dosages of the pharmaceutical drug methylphenidate (MPH) used to reduce and manage their symptoms of ADHD when receiving an Omega 3/6 Fatty Acid in a 9:3:1 ratio after one year (EPA:558 mg, DHA:174 MG, and GLA:60mg).

Further research is planned, but researchers believe given the fact the Omega 3/6 supplements have almost non-existent side effects in comparison to the drugs chosen to treat ADHD, it makes sense to increase the intake of these essential fatty acids before beginning a pharmaceutical treatment.

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Meta-Analysis Supports Potential of Omega-3s for ADHD

Omega-3 and ADHDAccording to a new meta-analysis of “gold standard” clinical studies, Omega-3 essential fatty acid supplements could improve symptoms and cognitive performance in adolescents and children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Data taken from seven randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and involving over 500 youth was analyzed using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines.  The data used was taken from established scientific literature databases to insure only appropriate studies were included in this meta-analysis.

Researchers found that supplementation with Omega-3 essential fatty acids significantly improved hyperactivity and inattention symptoms. Improvements in hyperactivity were only seen when doses of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) were over 500 mg/day.  Additionally data from case-control studies were also taken to determine if Omega-3 levels were associated with ADHD.  Results showed that adolescents and children with ADHD had lower levels of EPA, DHA and total Omega-3.  Improvements in certain measures of cognitive performance were also associated with Omega-3 supplementation.

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