DANVERS, Mass., Aug 07, 2007 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The results of a pilot study published in the Nutrition Journal ( www.nutritionj.com) suggest that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can benefit from daily supplementation of high levels of purified fish oils. The eight-week study demonstrated that children who consumed between 8 and 16 grams per day of EPA and DHA (the long chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil) showed significant improvements in their behavior rated by both their parents and the psychiatrist working with them.
The study monitored the ratio of two fatty acids in the blood: arachidonic acid (AA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). It has been known from previous studies that children with ADHD have a high AA/EPA ratio in the blood compared to control children. The amount of purified fish oil for each child was adjusted until his or her AA/EPA ratio reached ideal levels.
The study found a statistically significant improvement in inattention, hyperactivity, oppositional/defiant behavior and conduct disorders as the AA/EPA ratio in the blood was lowered. The findings were true for children taking their optimal dosage of drugs to manage their ADHD as well for the children who had voluntarily stopped taking their drugs during the study.
"This is an important study as it indicates when adequate levels of fish oil are added to the diet, significant behavioral changes can occur. This study also indicates that the growing epidemic of ADHD may have a strong nutritional component-the lack of sufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acids, such as EPA and DHA," said Dr. Barry Sears, one of the co-authors of the study. "Equally important is that supplementation with high-dose fish oil is synergistic with existing drugs, giving both the physician and parent new dietary approaches toward correcting this growing epidemic in our children."
ADHD is a neurological condition characterized by the inability to concentrate in a sustained manner, to pay attention to tasks, and to control impulsive actions. It is estimated that 3 to 7 percent of children have this disorder. For 60-80 percent of children with ADHD, the condition continues into adulthood.
About Dr. Sears
Dr. Barry Sears is one of the leading experts in the world in use of high- dose omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of chronic disease conditions. He is the author of the New York Times #1 bestseller The Zone as well as 11 other books on his hormonal control technology, including The OmegaRx Zone and The Anti-Inflammation Zone. His books have sold more than 5 million copies in the United States and have been translated into 22 languages. He is the president of the Inflammation Research Foundation, a non-profit medical research organization that does clinical research in the areas of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and neurological disorders.