Food and Behaviour Research

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17 October 2014 - Health Canal - Omega 3 can help children with ADD

Supplements of the fatty acids omega 3 and 6 can help children and adolescents who have a certain kind of ADHD.

These are the findings of a dissertation at the Sahlgrenska Academy, which also indicates that a special cognitive training program can improve problem behavior in children with ADHD.

In this study, 75 children and adolescents with ADHD were given either the fatty acids omega 3 and 6 or a placebo over three months, and then they were all given omega 3/6 over three months. The study was conducted double-blind, which means that neither the researchers nor the participants were allowed to know whether they received the active capsules until afterwards.

"For the group as a whole, we did not see any major improvement, but in 35 percent of the children and adolescents who have the inattentive subtype of ADHD called ADD, the symptoms improved so much that we can talk about a clinically relevant improvement," says Mats Johnson, doctoral student at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg.

The levels of omega 3 and omega 6 were also measured in blood samples, where those who had a clear improvement of their symptoms also showed a better balance between the blood levels of these two fatty acids.

The dissertation also indicates that a cognitive training method called Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) can be a good alternative or complement in the treatment of ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).