ADHD or Depressed Kids? Omega-3 Treatment

Topics: Drug Food Safety, Vitamins and Supplements, Wellness and Health

20 of 28 depressed kids, ages between 6 and 12, took omega-3 fatty acids or placebo for one month.

7 of the 10 kids in the omega-3 group but none of the placebo kids had better scores in the 3 scales that are used to test for childhood depression, and 4 of the 7 went into remission.

DHA and EPA are the principal omega-3 fatty acids in fish: although no one knows the proper proportion of the two for supplementation, both are involved in cell membrane shape and elasticity, blood flow, and transmitting electrical signals.

Omega-3 has also been shown, in pilot studies to improve kids’ ADHD symptoms, even after 15 weeks of supplementation. In one omega-sponsored and publicized Australian RCT, 3 grams of fish and evening primrose oil (mixed omege-3 and omega-6) appeared more effect than prescription Ritalin, in 132 kids, ages 7-12.

There have now been 5 RCTs looking at fish oil supplementation for kids ages 4-18 with symptoms of learning and behaviour disorders. The research is thin for academics and policymakers, but for the parents of kids who are affected by depression and ADHD, the studies offer some hope…as do salmon, mackerel, sardines, flax and walnut!