Science Update

Fish Oils Children & Attention Deficit Disorder

Essential fatty acid supplements may help children who have a certain kind of ADHD according to a 2014 dissertation at the Sahlgrenska Academy University of Gothenburg Sweden.

Between 3-6% of all children are estimated to have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Children with ADHD have difficulty sitting still controlling impulses and temper or being attentive for prolonged periods at a time.

Often we see these children being treated with medications; however these meds have side-effects and they do not work for everyone.

In this particular study 75 children with ADHD were given either an essential fatty acid supplement or a placebo for three months. After that all 75 participants were given an essential fatty acid supplement for the next three months. This was a double-blind study so neither the researchers nor the participants knew whether they received the EFAs until afterwards.

While researchers did not see any major improvement as a whole in 35% of the children with the inattentive subtype of ADHD called ADD the symptoms improved so much that it was deemed a clinically relevant improvement.

In addition the children who had a clear improvement in their symptoms also showed a better balance between their levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as shown in blood samples.

Source: 19-Sep-2014 Non-stimulant interventions in ADHD Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology. Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry University of Gothenburg Sahlgrenska Academy.