Children with the lowest levels of omega-3 showed improved attention and vigilance after taking supplements.
BBC Science Focus Magazine
Date: 23rd November, 2019
By: James Lloyd
The fatty acids found in oily fish could provide a new way to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, according to a study at King’s College London, UK and China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan.
ADHD is a behavioural disorder that’s characterised by hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and a difficulty in paying attention. Currently, ADHD is most commonly treated using stimulants such as methylphenidate (Ritalin), which have been shown to reduce symptoms. But a new, natural treatment could be on the cards.
Previous research has shown that children with an omega-3 deficiency are more likely to have more severe ADHD. In this new study, the researchers gave 92 children with ADHD aged 6-18 high doses of the omega-3 fatty acid EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) or a placebo for 12 weeks.
The children with the lowest pre-existing blood levels of omega-3 showed improved attention and vigilance after taking the omega-3 supplements – outdoing even the improvement that’s previously been seen in studies with methylphenidate. [FULL STORY]