Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oils) and ADHD

While the topic of nutrition & ADHD is contentious, omega 3s have gained ground in the relief of ADHD symptoms.

Respectable studies from Goteborg University in Sweden, University of South Australia, and Oxford University in the United Kingdom have shown that omega 3 fatty acids have reduced symptoms by as much as 50%. A more recent Norwegian study produced similar results.

In the study performed at the University of South Australia, children were divided randomly into three groups for the first 15 weeks of the study. One group was given a fish oil & primrose oil combination; the second took the same combination plus a multivitamin/mineral supplement, and the third group took a placebo. During the second 15 weeks, the kids on the placebo were given the fish oil & primrose oil combination plus the multivitamin/mineral as well.

While the studies received little press, the results were quite good for the two 30-week fish-oil groups. They demonstrated 40%- 50% improvement in behavior while the 15-week group showed a 30% – 40% percent improvement.

Ritalin and Concerta are the drugs most often prescribed for ADHD. The results actually were far better for fish oil when compared with results of studies of Ritalin and Concerta. Fish oils were more effective.

Let me make it clear that fish oil will not cure ADHD. Could it possibly mitigate symptoms for you? Possibly. According to Dr. Andrew Weil  “Levels of omega-3s in the plasma and red blood cells of children with ADHD are lower than in kids who don’t have the disorder.”

As attention issues are only the tip of the ADHD iceberg, it’s not a good idea to use fish oils as your only intervention. I strongly recommend using Play Attention; a cognitive program to improve attention, memory, visual tracking, time on-task, motor skills, and discriminatory processing.