Can Omega 3 supplements benefit hyperactive children?

There is a debate raging at the moment about the use of drugs to treat a hyperactive child. It seems from the debate that a diagnosis of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is very quick to be made and drugs are very quick to be prescribed.

We aren’t here today to buy into the debate about describing drugs for hyperactive children, or about the definitions of ADHD or when it should be diagnosed.

What we are here to do is to bring to your attention the results of studies which have shown that increasing a child’s intake of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids, and in particular DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid), the 2 most important of the Omega 3 fatty acids, may well have a role in reducing the incidence of hyperactivity in children, and may well have a role in improving the results that a child with a range of conditions may well experience at school.

Hyperactive child

Studies have clearly shown that over the last century our intake of the essential fatty acids has gradually declined and that now most of us, including children, are deficient in these important fats.

Research is also finding that increasing our intake of the Omega 3 fats has a wide range of health benefits, and in particular that it can improve our mental function from birth or even before that, right through to old age. DHA makes up a large part of our brain and therefore it would seem to make sense that if our intake of DHA in particular is low our brain may not function as well.

Studies are also now showing that a hyperactive child may well benefit from increasing his or her intake of the essential fatty acids. And in particular studies are showing that this increase in intake of the Omega 3 fats may well make a significant positive impact on the ability of the child to perform at school.

In a trial in Durham in the UK this was extensively studied. A group of children were selected on the basis that they were not doing particularly well at school, but not as a result of poor ability. Half the children selected were given Omega 3 supplements in the form of capsules and the other half were given a placebo, and as is the case in the studies none of the children knew which they were getting.

Results showed a significant improvement in the ability of the children receiving the Omega 3 fats to do better at school.

Whilst this does not prove that Omega3 supplements are a treatment for ADHD it certainly suggests that this should be studied further. And it’s not only ADHD, there are a number of other conditions that can be diagnosed in a hyperactive child which may also benefit including dyslexia and dyspraxia.

If you’re interested in reading much more about the study you can do so on the website of the BBC.

There seems to be a growing body of evidence that increasing the intake of Omega 3 essential fats is of benefit to all of us, including children and even the unborn. The health benefits of an increased essential fatty acid intake extend to a much wider range of health conditions than just ADHD, dyslexia or dyspraxia.

Whilst parents should not necessarily start their children taking Omega 3 supplements purely as a treatment for ADHD it is clear that there are other health benefits as well as this, and that there are a wide range of health reasons for increasing the essential fatty acid intake.

And of course this range of health benefits can be attracted to the parents as well as the children, provided the parents also supplement their diet with Omega 3 supplements.

If you have a hyperactive child you should always consult your doctor. However it is now clear that there is a growing recognition that most of us are deficient in Omega 3 fatty acid intake, and that all of us, including a hyperactive child, can benefit from increasing their intake of these fats.

But remember, not all Omega 3 supplements are the same, you should choose wisely is the best Omega 3 capsules offer significantly more health advantages than the worst

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