|Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor|
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is an increasing problem among school-aged children and is usually treated with prescription medication. A recent study suggests, however, that supplementation with omega-3s may improve spelling, attention, behavior, hyperactivity, and cognitive problems in children diagnosed with ADHD.
Participants in the study originally included 90 children with ADHD. One third of the group took EPA-rich supplements (1,109 mg EPA and 108 mg DHA), one third took DHA-rich supplements (264 mg EPA and 1,032 mg DHA) and one group took safflower oil (1,467 mg linoleic acid) daily for 12 months.
Fifty-three of the children completed the study. Initially results showed no difference between the three groups. However, analysis of blood samples showed that participants with increased red blood cell levels of EPA and DHA showed improvements in spelling and attention and reductions in oppositional behavior, hyperactivity and cognitive problems.
Researchers from the Sansom Institute for Health Research at the University of South Australia conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on November 8, 2013, in the Journal of Attention Disorders.
Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including alleviating arthritis pain, better moods, improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, and aiding your immune system.
Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in DHA and EPA omega-3s.