FAB RESEARCH COMMENT:
Previous clinical trials have provided evidence that dietary supplementation with the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and seafood (EPA and DHA) can reduce ADHD symptoms in children of school-age. See:
However, there has been little investigation to date of whether the same may be true in younger children.
In this small study, researchers showed that similar benefits of omega-3 supplementation may be achieved in children of pre-school age, as both Intent-to-Treat and per-protocol analyses showed significant improvements in both parent- and teacher-rated behaviour for children receiving the active treatment over placebo.
As the researchers emphasise, larger studies of this age-group are still needed to inform clinical practice.
However, given that
(1) omega-3 EPA/DHA are essential for healthy brain development and function, but often relatively lacking from children's diets, and
(2) earlier intervention for ADHD-type symptoms may help to prevent or reduce the educational and social problems that often follow, it makes sense for all children to receive adequate intakes of these key nutrients - ideally via diet, but with supplementation if needed.
For more news and research articles on the subject of ADHD and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, please see the following lists, which are regularly updated: