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Omega-3 and ADHD

One in 20 children have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes hyperactivity, impulsive behaviour, and attention problems.

For up to 40% of children with ADHD, drugs are either not effective in treating the condition, or result in unpleasant side effects.

A new study shines a light on Omega-3 deficiency and how supplements can help some patients.

Some previous studies have shown that Omega-3 fish oil may help with symptoms, but in some cases the symptoms seem to get worse.

The latest study from King’s College, London, is the first to look at whether the children given the Omega-3 supplement were deficient in Omega-3 to begin with. Subjects were divided into two groups, one receiving the Omega-3 supplement and the other receiving a placebo.

After 12 weeks, they found that the children who were deficient in Omega-3 improved over the 12 weeks, becoming more attentive and vigilant. However, those children who were not deficient to begin with actually experienced a worsening of some symptoms, including impulsivity.

The results suggest that there is an optimal level of Omega-3, and too much or too little can both lead to worsening symptoms.

The researchers say their results suggest that Omega-3 supplements may be beneficial, but for some patients could actually be detrimental, highlighting the importance of appropriate supervision from their doctor.

Our clinic now offers Omega-3 testing. A simple blood test can measure the amount of red blood cell Omega 3:6 ratio and also measure trans-fats. This is a brand new service we offer in the form of a test kit that patients can take home and send away for a full report.


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