Omega-3 May Help Children With ADHD, Says Study

Gothenburg, Sweden— A new dissertation from the University of Gothenburg says that omega-3 and omega-6 supplementation may be able to improve problem behavior in children and adolescents with ADHD.

This same dissertation also indicates that a specialized cognitive training program may be able to have similar effects.

In this double-blind study, 75 children and adolescents with ADHD were given either the fatty acids omega 3 and 6 or a placebo over three months, and then they were all given omega 3 and 6 over three months. Blood samples were taken during the study to see if there was any correlation between omega balance and improvement in ADHD symptoms. A second study was also taken where 17 children and their family underwent a cognitive training method called Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) for up to ten weeks. Families were then asked how much the behavioral problems improved directly after the treatment as well as six months afterwards.

In both studies, positive results were found. In the omega-3s study, while there wasn’t major improvement in the group on the whole, in 35% of the participants, “the symptoms improved so much that we can talk about a clinically relevant improvement," according to Mats Johnson, doctoral student at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg. The blood samples also showed that those who exhibited clear improvement in symptoms showed a better balance between omega-3 and 6. Johnson also noted that all of the families in CPS study completed the treatment, “and half of them experienced a large or very large improvement of the behavioral problems.”

Published by WholeFoods Magazine, December 2014(online 10/29/2014)