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Omega-3 Fish Oil Reduces ADHD Symptoms

Essential fatty acids found in oily fish could have a documented history of supporting brain health, and more specifically improving anxiety, depression, ADHD, cognitive functioning and physical health, including sleep, vision, asthma, joint pain, metabolic issues, inflammation, auto-immune disorders, skin and cancer.

According to a study at King’s College London, UK and China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan, supplementation with Omega-3’s can improve attention and can be an effective treatment for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Moreover, consistent with prior research that demonstrated the Omega-3’s, this research found that omega-3’s are not only have a positive effect on attention but that it is equally effective to psychostimulant medication. 

ADHD is a behavioral disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 9.4 percent of children (6.1 million) in the U.S. between two to seventeen years of age have ever been diagnosed with ADHD. The CDC also reports a steady increase in the percentage of children between the ages of 4 and 17 diagnosed with ADHD.

This new research found that high-dose eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) improves attention and vigilance in children and adolescents with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and low endogenous EPA levels. Researchers gave 92 children with ADHD aged 6-18 high doses of the omega-3 fatty acid EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) or a placebo over 12 weeks in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

The children with the lowest pre-existing blood levels of omega-3 showed improvements on measures of attention and vigilance after taking the omega-3 supplements over the 12 weeks. 

Currently, ADHD is most commonly treated using stimulants such as methylphenidate (Ritalin and Converta), which have been shown to initially reduce symptoms but tolerance develops over time and the medication becomes ineffective. It is recommended that omega-3 supplements are preferred over stimulants and a combination of DHA and EPA at doses ≥750 mg per day should be taken for at least 12 weeks. 

Omega-3’s are a natural treatment for ADHD that parents are seeking to support their children who struggle with attention, focus, behavioral regulation, and impulse control. It can be part of a more personalized approach to the treatment of ADHD, which is increasingly recognized as needed. Omega-3’s are not only a natural treatment for ADHD but it has no side effects and Omega-3’s are effective in improving attention.

Looking for more ways to help your child with ADHD or executive functioning dysfunction, then check out my blogs to learn more about other supplements for ADHD and the research behind why you shouldn't medicate your child with ADHD.

Always remember… “Calm Brain, Happy Family™”

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to give health advice and it is recommended to consult with a physician before beginning any new wellness regime. 

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She is the founder and director of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health and Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge. Dr. Roseann is a Board Certified Neurofeedback (BCN) Practitioner, a Board Member of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS), Certified Integrative Medicine Mental Health Provider (CMHIMP) and an Amen Clinic Certified Brain Health Coach.  She is also a member of The International Lyme Disease and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The American Psychological Association (APA), Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) and The Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).

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