Effect of Supplementation with Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Micronutrients on Learning and Behavior Problems Associated with Child ADHD

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Reasearch Organization Human Nutrition, Adelaide, South Australia.
Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 2.13). 04/2007; 28(2):82-91. DOI: 10.1097/01.DBP.0000267558.88457.a5
Source: PubMed


Various developmental problems including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been linked to biological deficiencies in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Additionally, there is evidence that symptoms may be reduced with PUFA supplementation. This study investigated effects of supplementation with PUFAs on symptoms typically associated with ADHD. Because nutrients work synergistically, additional effects of micronutrient supplementation were also investigated. A total of 132 Australian children aged 7 to 12 years with scores > or = 2 SD above the population average on the Conners ADHD Index participated in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind intervention over 15 weeks, taking PUFAs alone, PUFAs + micronutrients, or placebo. Due to unreturned questionnaires, data were only available for 104 children.
Significant medium to strong positive treatment effects were found on parent ratings of core ADHD symptoms, inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, on the Conners Parent Rating Scale (CPRS) in both PUFA treatment groups compared with the placebo group; no additional effects were found with the micronutrients. After a one-way crossover to active supplements in all groups for a further 15 weeks, these results were replicated in the placebo group, and the treatment groups continued to show significant improvements on CPRS core symptoms. No significant effects were found on Conners Teacher Rating Scales.
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.

Download full-text


Available from: Natalie Parletta,
  • Source
    • "SFAs have been linked to unfavorable health outcomes; whereas, MUFAs have been found to be beneficial. The studies provide good evidence USFAs may be beneficial for reducing high B.P. and preventing breast and colon cancer (Sinn et al., 2007; Waterman and Lockwood, 2007; Odent et al., 2002; Perona et al., 2006; Renaud, 2002). However, evidence that the active compounds in FAs are capable of distribution throughout the body. "

  • Source
    • "This effect was driven by the measures of inattention at follow-up: subjects who had received omega-3 PUFAs had lower scores on the CBCL attention problems subscale than subjects on placebo. This ties in with earlier studies that have suggested that omega-3 PUFA supplementation improves symptoms of inattention specifically, and not symptoms of ADHD more generally (Gustafsson et al, 2010; Richardson and Montgomery, 2005; Sinn and Bryan, 2007). In line with recent meta-analyses (Bloch and Qawasmi, 2011; Sonuga-Barke et al, 2013), our results suggest that supplementation with omega-3 PUFAs may be beneficial in ADHD. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common child psychiatric disorders, and is often treated with stimulant medication. Non-pharmacological treatments include dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids, although their effectiveness remains to be shown conclusively. In this study, we investigated the effects of dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on ADHD symptoms and cognitive control in young boys with and without ADHD.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 19 March 2015. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.73.
    Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 03/2015; 40(10). DOI:10.1038/npp.2015.73 · 7.05 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "for example, was considerably greater than that seen in comparable studies. For example, Sinn and Bryan (2007) "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: To compare efficacy of Omega-3/6 fatty acids (Equazen eye q™) with methylphenidate (MPH) and combined MPH + Omega-3/6 in children with ADHD. Method: Participants (N = 90) were randomized to Omega-3/6, long-acting MPH, or combination for 12 months. ADHD symptoms were assessed using the ADHD Rating Scale and Clinical Global Impressions-Severity (CGI-S) scale. Results: ADHD symptoms decreased in all treatment arms. Although significant differences favoring Omega + MPH over Omega-3/6 alone were found for ADHD Total and Hyperactivity-Impulsivity subscales, results on the Inattention subscale were similar. CGI-S scores decreased slowly and consistently with Omega-3/6, compared with a rapid decrease and subsequent slight increase in the MPH-containing arms. Adverse events were numerically less frequent with Omega-3/6 or MPH + Omega-3/6 than MPH alone. Conclusion: The tested combination of Omega-3/6 fatty acids had similar effects to MPH, whereas the MPH + Omega combination appeared to have some tolerability benefits over MPH.
    Journal of Attention Disorders 01/2014; DOI:10.1177/1087054713518239 · 3.78 Impact Factor
Show more