Fish Oil and ADHD

Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are dietary essentials, and are critical to brain development and function. Increasing evidence suggests that a relative lack of omega-3 may contribute to many psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. Numerous studies are pointing at the benefits of omega-3 fish oil supplementation for children diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

A recent randomized control trial found improved spelling, ability to divide attention, lower parent ratings of hyperactivity and restlessness after four months of supplements rich in EPA and DHA. Many studies are finding improved cognitive skills and a lower incidence of behaviour problems.

Omega-3s benefit many other conditions, including heart diseases, depression, anxiety, auto-immune disorders, allergies, cancer, diabetes, inflammation, arthritis, digestive disorders, AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, eye disorders, macular degeneration and ulcers. It also helps in weight loss, pregnancy, fertility and skin care.

Milte CM, Sinn N, et al (2012). "Eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, cognition, and behavior in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A randomized controlled trial," Nutrition. Apr. 25.

Richardson, J. A., Puri, B. K. (2002). "A randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the effects of supplementation with highly unsaturated fatty acids on ADHD-related symptoms in children with specific learning difficulties." Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacy and Biological Psychiatry. Vol 26, Issue 2, Pages 233–239.

Richardson, J. A. (2006). "Omega-3 fatty acids in ADHD and related neurodevelopmental disorders." International Review of Psychiatry. Vol. 18, No. 2 , Pages 155-172.

Simopoulos, A. P. (1999). "Essential fatty acids in health and chronic disease." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 70, No. 3.