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Omega-3 fish oil is as important to some children as it is to ADHD medications



  Omega 3
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Researchers from King's College London and China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan, have found that omega-3 fish oil supplements improve the attention of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but only children with one low omega-3 content in their blood.

The researchers say their findings represent a personalized medical approach to psychiatry, showing that omega-3 only works with some children with ADHD. Previous studies in the same group found that children with omega-3 deficiency have more severe ADHD.

In a randomized controlled trial, 92 children with ADHD aged 6 to 1

8 years were given high doses of the omega-3 fatty acid EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) or a placebo for 12 weeks. The results were published in the journal Translational Psychiatry .

The researchers found that children with the lowest levels of EPA blood after ingestion of omega-3 drugs showed an improvement in alertness and alertness in children with normal or high levels of EPA blood. In addition, omega-3 supplements in children with high levels of EPA in the blood had a negative effect on impulsivity symptoms.

The researchers warn that parents should contact health professionals before giving their children omega-3 supplements. Omega-3 deficiency can be recognized by dry and flaky skin, eczema and dry eyes and confirmed by a blood test such as that used in this study (although the blood test is currently available for research purposes only). ,

Previous studies have revealed inconsistent findings on omega-3 supplementation in ADHD symptoms with relatively small overall effect sizes. Standard treatments offered to parents whose children suffer from ADHD include stimulants such as methylphenidate. The effect of improving attention and alertness to methylphenidate is 0.22 to 0.42. In comparison, effect sizes were greater in the study of omega-3 supplementation in children with low EPA blood levels, 0.89 for targeted attention and 0.83 for alertness.

Dr. Jane Chang, co-director of King's Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, said, "Our findings suggest that fish oil supplements in children with ADHD with omega-3 fatty acids are at least as effective as conventional pharmacological treatments , On the other hand, parents may have too much good and they should always turn to their children's psychiatrists, as our study suggests that some children may have negative effects. "

Professor Carmine Pariante, senior researcher at King's Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurosciences, said," The omega-3 supplements only worked in children with lower levels of EPA in their blood than if they had Lack of this important nutrient filled up by the intervention. For children with omega-3 deficiency, fish oil supplements may be a preferred option over traditional stimulants. Our study sets an important precedent for other nutritional measures, and we can begin to teach children with ADHD the benefits of personalized psychiatry.

The study was conducted in Taiwan, where diets compared to diets in Taiwan often contain a lot of fish in Europe and North America. Most studies on children with ADHD, most of which are conducted in Western countries, have shown that the average blood EPA levels are lower than in the current study.

Professor Kuan-Pin Su, co-executive researcher of China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan said: "High EPA levels in the blood without supplements can be achieved through good nutrition with lots of fish, resulting in some Asian Common to countries like Taiwan and Japan. It is possible that EPA deficiency may occur more frequently in children with ADHD in low-fish countries, such as North America and many European countries, and therefore supplementation with fish oil may have more far-reaching benefits for the treatment of the condition than in our study. & # 39;


Fish oil supplements have no effect on anxiety and depression


Further information:
Translational Psychiatry (2019). DOI: 10.1038 / s41398-019-0633-0, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-019-0633-0

Provided by
King's College London




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Omega-3 fish oil is just as important to some children as ADHD medication (2019, Nov. 19)
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