Current evidence and future directions for research with omega-3 fatty acids and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

  title={Current evidence and future directions for research with omega-3 fatty acids and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder},
  author={Rachel V. Gow and Joseph Hibbeln and Natalie Parletta},
  journal={Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care},
Purpose of reviewNutritional insufficiencies of nutrients such as omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs), vitamins and minerals have been linked to suboptimal developmental outcomes including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Although the predominant treatment is currently psychostimulant medications, randomized clinical trials with omega-3 HUFAs have reported small-to-modest effects in reducing symptoms of ADHD in children despite arguable individual methodological and… 
Critical appraisal of omega-3 fatty acids in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder treatment
There is evidence that a ω-3 PUFA treatment has a positive effect on ADHD, and it should be added that treatment could be more effective in patients with mild forms of ADHD, or the dosage of stimulant medication could be reduced when used in combination with ω/6 PUFA supplements.
Supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in the management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
It is consensus that current evidence suggests PUFA supplementation has a small beneficial effect on behaviour in children with ADHD, and that further high-quality research is needed to clearly evaluate and define its role in the management of ADHD.
Supplementation with Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Psychiatric Disorders: A Review of Literature Data
There is some evidence to support the use of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of conditions characterized by a high level of impulsivity and aggression and borderline personality disorders, and tolerability, several studies concluded that omega- 3 can be considered safe and well tolerated at doses up to 5 g/day.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Levels and Correlations with Symptoms in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Typically Developing Controls
Children with ADHD and ASD had low levels of EPA, DHA and AA and high ratio of n-6/n-3 PUFAs and these correlated significantly with symptoms and future research should further investigate abnormal fatty acid metabolism in these disorders.
A case series on the potential effect of omega-3-fatty acid supplementation on 24-h heart rate variability and its circadian variation in children with attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder
Results indicate that omega-3 supplementation in children with AD(H)D may reduce mean heart rate and increase its variability, and future studies would do well to implement randomized, placebo-controlled designs with greater methodological rigor.
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: What is Their Role in Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders?
Small beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids were observed in ADHD and positive results were reported in a few trials on core symptoms of borderline personality disorder, while for other psychiatric disorders results are inconsistent.
Dietary patterns are associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms among preschoolers in South Korea: a prospective cohort study
Food item analysis of the sweet dietary pattern showed that intake scores for chocolate, chips, and fruit jams positively correlated with AD, hyperactivity, and ADHD symptoms, which can be useful to further understand the roles of dietary factors in ADHD.
Omega-3/6 Fatty Acids and Learning in Children and Young People: A Review of Randomised Controlled Trials Published in the Last 5 Years
RCTs focusing on vulnerable groups such as Looked After Children (LAC) and those with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyscalculia who could also potentially benefit from omega-3/6 fatty acids warrant further investigation.
Nutritional interventions to reduce symptoms in children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a scoping review protocol.
This scoping review is to examine and map reported nutritional interventions and their outcomes in relieving symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the daily lives of children and adults.


Effect of Supplementation with Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Micronutrients on Learning and Behavior Problems Associated with Child ADHD
  • N. Sinn, J. Bryan
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP
  • 2007
These results add to preliminary findings that ADHD-related problems with inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity might respond to treatment with PUFAs and that improvements may continue with supplementation extending to 30 weeks.
Omega-3/Omega-6 Fatty Acids for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
A subgroup of children and adolescents with ADHD, characterized by inattention and associated neurodevelopmental disorders, treated with omega 3/6 fatty acids for 6 months responded with meaningful reduction of ADHD symptoms.
Nutritional and dietary influences on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • N. Sinn
  • Medicine, Psychology
    Nutrition reviews
  • 2008
The current evidence supports indications of nutritional and dietary influences on behavior and learning in these children, with the strongest support to date reported for omega-3s and behavioral food reactions.
Docosahexaenoic Acid for Reading, Cognition and Behavior in Children Aged 7–9 Years: A Randomized, Controlled Trial (The DOLAB Study)
DHA supplementation appears to offer a safe and effective way to improve reading and behavior in healthy but underperforming children from mainstream schools, and replication studies are clearly warranted.
The Oxford-Durham Study: A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Dietary Supplementation With Fatty Acids in Children With Developmental Coordination Disorder
Fatty acid supplementation may offer a safe efficacious treatment option for educational and behavioral problems among children with DCD, and an inability to detect any improvement in motor skills reflects the measures used.
Does omega-3 supplement enhance the therapeutic results of methylphenidate in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder patients?
Omega-3 did not enhance the therapeutic results of methylphenidate in ADHD patients and a significant reduction of both parent's and teacher's ADHD rating scale scores was observed.