There is a link between Omega 3 and ADHD reduction.

We have already talked about the link between Omega 3 fish oil and a reduction in depression levels. And we have also talked about the importance of adequate levels of Omega 3 for brain development in the fetus and infants.

So it’s no surprise that there is also a link between Omega 3 and ADHD. It now appears that it is possible to use fish oil to at least partially treat ADHD. Omega 3 fatty acids are an important part of an ADHD strategy.

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or what is known as ADHD, is the inability of a person to concentrate for extended periods of time and to focus on one particular task. Symptoms can include hyperactivity and other impulsive and disruptive behaviour. It is estimated that around 7 percent of children in the US have some form of ADHD. Most of these are boys.

And somewhere around 70 percent of children with ADHD carry those problems through to adulthood.ADHD and Fish Oil

There have been studies conducted on ADHD sufferers which have found that they have very low levels of the 2 main Omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA. These are 2 essential fatty acids that are very important to the general health of the body. DHA is also one of the major fats found in the brain.

Does your child have ADHD? Fish oil contains the most DHA and EPA of any food that we can take. Fish eat micro algae with DHA and store this in their body. Oil sourced from the fish therefore contains good levels of DHA and EPA.

There are studies about using fish oil for ADHD relief. One at the Inflammation Research Foundation focused on the possibility of reducing the symptoms of ADHD by using fish oil supplementation. This study involved 3 boys and 6 girls, all of which had been diagnosed with ADHD. Omega 3 fatty acids were given to the boys and girls as liquids and measurements were taken of the level of DHA and EPA in their bodies together with the ratio between EPA and AA “arachidonic acid” which was considered to be one of the major causes of the ADHD.

The results of using fish oil for ADHD treatment were impressive. At the end of a trial lasting 8 weeks the levels of EPA and DHA found in the children have increased significantly and there were significant reductions symptoms of ADHD in all of the children.

The inattention score fell from 18 to 10, almost half, and a hyperactivity score fell from 11 to 5, a fall to less than half.

It is still in the early stages of research about the effects of fish oil and ADHD relief. However there are very encouraging results which fall in line with the results of using fish oil for depression. It is clearly worth considering that for anyone with ADHD, Omega 3 fatty acids are an important part of the equation in tackling the problem.

Whilst it is too early to say that using fish oil to treat ADHD can be a stand-alone treatment, and this is unlikely anyway, it is certainly worth considering in conjunction with other treatments.

Note that the levels of DHA and EPA supplementation in the trial were quite high. The children took levels of these Omega 3 fatty acids in excess of the levels recommended for general intake. And there appears has yet to be insufficient evidence of the link between increased intake of fish oil and ADHD relief, so there are as yet, no official recommended dosages.

So if your child has ADHD, fish oil may be a part of the answer. Though of course as is always the case you should always consult your doctor first on issues such as these.

Not all fish oil supplements are created equal. You need to be careful in choosing your fish oil supplements, some have way more active ingredients than others.

Read our article about comparing Omega 3 fish oil supplements find out more about how to choose between the supplements available.

Read the report at Nutrition Journal, Vol. 6, 2007, pp. 16-23

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