Research has indicated that using supplements of fish oil or other omega-3 fatty acids can help control symptoms of ADHD. Although it is not a cure for this condition, studies have shown that these supplements can significantly reduce the symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity. Before buying a fish oil supplement for ADHD, however, make sure it is purified and tested for mercury.
Could fish oil supplementation really help with the symptoms of ADHD? Research suggests that it is quite possible. Many studies have favored the supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids in children with ADHD, showing a meaningful reduction of symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity with treatment, as well as improvements in age-standardized measures of spelling and academic achievement.
A recently published analysis of the results of many trials using omega-3 fatty acids in ADHD treatment showed that the net result of all of these trials was a significant positive effect on the symptoms of ADHD as rated by parents, teachers, and other observers. Even trials with a relatively short duration of three months showed positive changes in ADHD-related symptoms in children receiving omega-3 fatty acids.
Although these positive effects do not totally correct the symptoms of ADHD, they were large enough to be considered meaningful and strongly support the supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids in children with this condition.
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Sonuga-Barke E, Brandeis D, Nonpharmacological interventions for ADHD: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials of dietary and psychological treatments. Am J Psychiatry 2013;170:275?289.
Richardson, AJ. Omega-3 fatty acids in ADHD and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Int Rev Psych 2006;18(2):155?172.
Tom W-C. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in pediatrics. Pharmacist's Letter 2010. Detail No.: 260406 [Electronic version]. Available at: http://www.pharmacistsletter.com. Accessed April 9, 2010.
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