Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder which in common in children and adults can be an omega 3 deficiency. Fish oil is a good source for providing omega 3 supplements. In this article, we will talk about fish oil and ADHD.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is typified by the symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Though the disorder is not completely treatable but the symptoms and the intensity of the symptoms can be reduced to a great extent. According to a recent study, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is linked to the deficiency and imbalance of fatty acids. To be more specific, it is believed to be a result of deficiency of omega 3 long chain fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and an excess of omega 6 fatty acid, arachidonic acid(AA). It is been reported after research that fish oil is a good supplement for ADHD. It improves the balance of fatty acid and reduces the symptoms of ADHD.
The research involved 16 people between the ages 3.5 to 16 years who were diagnosed as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. These were given fresh fish oil supplement for 8 weeks. The dosage at which fish oil was given was 250 mg/day/kg body weight and that contained at least 75% of long chain fatty acids (omega 3) with a ratio of EPA to DHA of 2:1. The supplement that was given also contained vitamin E to prevent the oxidation of the fatty acids. The average dose of the fish oil was 8.5 grams/day.
The ratio of AA: EPA was measured in red blood cells before and after supplementation and parents was asked to evaluate the inattention and hyperactivity before and after using the Connor’s scale. It was found out that the average score of inattention before supplementation was 19 and after supplementation it was recorder as 13.9. In the same way, the hyperactivity score before the fish oil supplementation was 20, which dropped down to 15.5 after supplementation.
The brain and fatty acids
In the prefrontal cortex of the brain deficiency of fatty acids are supposed to lower the dopaminergic neurotransmission in this area of the brain. This area of the brain is highly affected in patients having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Fatty acid supplements can correct the function of this part of the brain and therefore, ADHD people can be benefited to a very great extent.
Fish oil is rich in omega3 fatty acids and it is supposed to improve mental focus, attention span and concentration. Fatty acids are required to have a healthy mind but they cannot be produced in our body so the only way is to supplement those. Fishes like sardines, tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, bluefish and black cod are very rich in omega 3 and can be used as fatty acids supplement. These can be very helpful for those having attention deficit disorder. Many of these fishes contain low level mercury. It is important to know which of the fishes have this and the best would be to keep the diet limited to two to three times a week.
Fish oil supplements can also be consumed. These will not have the risk of mercury contamination. There are various capsules available in the market and to get the right one, you can ask your doctor for the appropriate dosage and the capsule.
Omega 3 has always been considered as brain food and now according to the researches, 70% brain of babies and more than 60% brain of adults are made up of specific fatty acids especially EPA and DHA. After many researches, the role of fatty acids is now known to the doctors.