Omega-3 & ADHD

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Increasing evidence supports omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for patients with psychiatric disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHA). Children, ages 8-13, who participated in the study consumed eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), agents found in omega-3 fatty acid. The study’s measurements included continuous performance test results, including the test of variable attention (TOVA). TOVA is a computerized test of attention that assists in the screening, diagnosis, and treatment monitoring of attention disorders like ADHD.

The study showed different effects on visual sustained attention performance, including a significant correlation between fatty acids given to children and increased TOVA scores. Both Donald Rudin, M.D and Clara Felix, authors of Omega-3 Oils: A Practical Guide (Avery 1996) claim that ADHD is part of a modernization-disease syndrome, which arises from malnutrition centered on an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency. ADHD children compared with non-ADHD children had much lower blood levels of DHA, necessary for normal function of the eyes and the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is the region of the brain that handles higher functions such as reasoning and memory, and any lack of function in that area could be concluded to result in ADHD.*

*Nachum Vaisman, Nehemia Kaysar, Yahalomit Zaruk-Adasha, Dori Pelled, Gérard Brichon, Georges Zwingelstein and Jacques Bodennec . Correlation between changes in blood fatty acid composition and visual sustained attention performance in children with inattention: effect of dietary n–3 fatty acids containing phospholipids. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 87, No. 5, 1170-1180, May 2008.

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