Can Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help ADHD?

Can adding a fish supplement help improve your focus issues? Let’s take a peek at what the evidence has to say. First, some basic info on omega-3 fatty acids though.



Facts about Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that cannot be synthesized by the body so, therefore, we need to get them from our food. They include both EPA and DHA.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA play integral roles in children’s neurological and cognitive development, and support the normal function of cells throughout the body.
  • Omega-3s improve symptoms of depression and Alzheimers.
  • These fatty acids have also been shown to be helpful in preventing brain inflammation after concussions. In my opinion, anyone who plays contact sports should be taking omega-3s.

What does research say about ADHD and Omega-3s?

All trials included in the meta-analysis improve inattention and total ADHD symptoms scores, regardless of the EPA supplementation dosage. However, only studies with EPA doses of >500 mg improve hyperactivity symptoms

This trial showed that supplementation of 1.2g of EPA for 12 weeks improves cognitive symptoms (focused attention and vigilance) in ADHD youth, especially if they have a low baseline EPA levels. So EPA alone helps, especially when there is a low baseline level of EPA.

Overall Takeaways:

  • Omega-3 supplementation alone will not cure or eliminate all undesirable ADHD symptoms. BUT, when supplementing at the right dosage, it can be a great adjunctive therapy alongside other therapies to further improve ADHD symptoms (especially if you don’t eat much fish and likely have low baseline levels). I absolutely recommend this supplement to be part of your daily stack.
  • So for kids I usually recommend 1.5g of fish oil per day, ensuring there is at least 500mg of EPA especially if hyperactivity is a main concern.

Where do I buy this?

You can look for omega-3s in your local health food store (buy local if you can), or if you prefer to order online, here are some amazon links for a couple of brands I like:

References:

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-019-0633-0
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3992162/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21961774/

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *