Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids have “promising” therapeutic role in ADHD

d103c235-902c-4252-824c-0d86f1728b4carticleimage.jpg

10 Nov 2017 --- Clinically trialed evidence indicates that omega 3 and omega 6 supplementation programs can provide a promising adjunctive therapy for attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), leading to lowering the dose of psychopharmacologic medications needed and improving compliance with these. This is according to a review article published in the Journal of Lipids.

ADHD is a debilitating behavioral disorder affecting daily ability to function, learn and interact with peers. It is a common child-onset neurodevelopmental disorder that occurs in children, adolescents and adults, with an estimated prevalence of 5 to 7 per cent across cultures, the review notes. It adds that the condition can impact heavily on mental health and education, lead to antisocial behavior and personal dysfunction, and increase mortality risk.

Alternative treatment with potential
Medications used to treat ADHD typically include methylphenidate (MPH, also known as Ritalin), amphetamine, and atomoxetine. While MPH may ameliorate some comorbidities, the authors point out that it has been found to be ineffective in eliminating symptoms in 50 per cent of cases. The authors also say that parents appear to be concerned about the long-term effects of their children using medications such as MPH.

Giving further background, the review notes that a number of studies have measured long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids status in individuals with ADHD. For example, one study conducted on young adults (22.3 to 24.3 years) found that the proportion of omega 3 fatty acids was significantly lower in the plasma phospholipids and red blood cells of ADHD participants compared with controls, whilst levels of saturated fatty acids were higher.

Another investigation found that whilst teenagers with ADHD consume similar amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to controls, their docosahexaenoic acid status was significantly lower, suggesting that there are metabolic differences in fatty acid handling in those with ADHD.

Similarly, another trial showed that the proportions of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids were higher and lower, respectively, in pediatric patients with ADHD, compared with controls again indicating differences in lipid profiles. Further meta-analytical evidence has concluded that children and young people with ADHD have elevated ratios of blood omega 3 and omega 6, indicating disturbances in fatty acid metabolism in these individuals.

Laboratory research has also identified that omega 3 fatty acids may act in a similar way to “antipsychotics,” possibly by acting on brain receptors and helping to restore oxidative balance, the review points out.

Review suggests different option
For the article, a systematic review of 16 randomized controlled trials was undertaken. Trials included a total of 1,514 children and young people with ADHD who were allocated to take an omega 3 or omega 6 intervention, or a placebo.

Of the studies identified, 13 reported favorable benefits on ADHD symptoms including improvements in hyperactivity, impulsivity, attention, visual learning, word reading, and working or short-term memory. Four studies used supplements containing a 9 : 3 : 1 ratio of eicosapentaenoic acid : docosahexaenoic acid : gamma linolenic acid, which appeared effective at improving erythrocyte levels.

Supplementation with this ratio of fatty acids also showed promise as an adjunctive therapy to traditional medications, lowering the dose and improving the compliance with medications such as methylphenidate. 

The researchers came to the conclusion that given disparaging feelings towards psychostimulant medications, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids offer great promise as a suitable adjunctive therapy for the frequent and debilitating childhood condition of ADHD. It also appears that parents are looking for complementary treatments for their children to use alongside traditional treatments, the article’s authors add.

Elsewhere in omega 3 and omega 6 news, a prenatal lack of omega 3 and omega 6 has also recently been linked to schizophrenic symptoms in offspring, while a diet rich in omega 6 has been connected to a significantly reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes.

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Health & Nutrition News

Fish-rich diet during pregnancy may boost baby's brain development

21 Sep 2018 --- Regularly eating fatty fish during pregnancy could boost the development of an unborn child's eyesight and brain function, according to a small-scale study led by Kirsi Laitinen of the University of Turku and Turku University Hospital in Finland. Published in the journal Pediatric Research, the results support previous findings that show how important a mother's diet and lifestyle choices during pregnancy are for the development of her baby.

Health & Nutrition News

Weekly Roundup: Fermentalg and DSM partner on omega 3, Curcumin gut health benefits

21 Sep 2018 --- The weekly roundup is NutritionInsight's collection of global nutrition stories from the past week. Fermentalg and DSM Nutritional Products entered a five-year commercial agreement for omega 3 products. Research has found that Sabinsa's curcumin products can have a positive effect on gut health, while analysis highlighted the need for more accurate cranberry authentication tools. Mühlenchemie’s Chinese production facility has been certified to supply fortified foods to the UN World Food Programme.

Health & Nutrition News

Aurora Cannabis stocks rise as Coca-Cola eyes CBD infused drinks

18 Sep 2018 --- Coca-Cola is eyeing CBD-infused drink options as consumer interest in marijuana products grows and regulatory changes make this segment increasingly viable for diverse new product development. The beverage company is reportedly working with Aurora Cannabis, a Canadian medical marijuana producer and distributor. Following Bloomberg’s report on the companies' collaboration, Aurora’s shares jumped by 23 percent on Monday in New York to US$8.

Health & Nutrition News

Cognitive boost: Dietary fiber found to reduce brain inflammation during aging

14 Sep 2018 --- There may be a way to delay the inevitable decline of cognitive function as we age: consuming dietary fiber, according to a new study from the University of Illinois. As mammals age, immune cells in the brain known as microglia become chronically inflamed. In this state, they produce chemicals known to impair cognitive and motor function, explaining why memory fades and other brain functions decline during old age. Although the study was conducted in mice, the researchers are comfortable extending the findings to humans, if only in a general sense. 

Health & Nutrition News

Researchers identify new tool to detect fatty liver disease before damage occurs

14 Sep 2018 --- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) currently affects approximately one in four people, including children, worldwide. But thanks to a team of researchers from Westmead Institute for Medical Research, a new test may soon be available to predict advanced fibrosis in people with NAFLD.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/omega-3-and-omega-6-fatty-acids-have-promising-therapeutic-role-in-adhd.html