Omega-3 is amazing at helping everything from brain and eye power to even muscle recovery. However new studies are going ahead all the time. Now, an interest in omega supplements is growing among patients with ADHD, and parents with children with ADHD. Supplementing with omega may present an approach to treating the symptoms of ADHD, and evidence may suggest some patients may benefit from omega supplementation as part of their ADHD management regimen.
We do stress that guideline-based psychosocial and pharmacological is vital, however, omega supplementation can be proven to help manage the symptoms of ADHD.
How does it work?
ADHD can affect both children and adults and is defined by an inability to focus, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Having lower levels of omega have been found to be associated with behavioral learning difficulties. Research has now begun to investigate whether reversing these nutrient deficiencies may help with the behavioral and learning symptoms of ADHD.
Researchers carried out a 12-week, randomised controlled trial with 92 young people, aged 6–18 years old with ADHD. The participants were given either a high dose of the omega-3 fatty acid or a placebo.
Overall, focused attention in the omega group improved more than in the placebo group. The improvement in focused attention and vigilance being more in children who had the lowest levels of omega in their diet.
How quickly will symptoms take to improve?
Choosing to supplement with omega-3 may help improve the symptoms of ADHD, however, improvements won’t happen overnight. You may have to build up omega-3 in your system, seeing results in around three months’ time.
If you are already running with a low level of omega-3 in the brain, the brain has been making do with arachidonic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid that’s not as efficient as omega-3 in the brain.
By taking on more omega-3s, the omega-3 will begin to substitute the arachidonic acid. This is when you should start seeing improvements.
What other vitamins will help?
Vitamin D plays an important role in healthy brain development and function. A number of studies have found a link between vitamin D deficiencies and neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD.
In a 2018 study, children with and without ADHD had their vitamin D levels compared. Those with ADHD had significantly lower levels of vitamin D in their blood and were, therefore, more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency.
After the study, the children were split into two groups. One group were supplemented with vitamin D, while the other received a placebo,
The children who received the supplements showed significant improvements in attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity compared with children who received the placebo.
In conclusion, supplementing with things like omega-3 and vitamin D can help reduce the symptoms of ADHD while also being accompanied by treatment from your healthcare professional.
Effective supplementation of omega-3 and vitamin D can be achieved by including either supplements or getting our omega-3 from our diet. Vitamin D can be quite hard to find in food, so it’s recommended to supplement with this through either a multivitamin or a direct vitamin D supplement.