The brain-healthy fat DHA improves symptoms of ADHD and learning disabilities in children with ADHD

June 04, 2012

In their study Australian researchers enrolled 90 Australian children aged 7 to 12 diagnosed with ADHD who had high scores for ADHD symptoms on the Conners Rating Scales. The children were supplemented with a fish oil rich in EPA and DHA or a safflower oil rich in Omega-6 fatty acids. Increased levels of DHA in the red blood cell (DHA is one of the two primary fats in fish) was associated with improved word reading and lower parent ratings of oppositional behavior especially in a subgroup of 17 kids with ADHD who also had learning difficulties. They had improved word reading, improved spelling, and also an improved ability to divide attention. They also had lowered parent ratings of oppositional behavior, hyperactivity, restlessness and overall ADHD symptoms. The study is published in the June 2012 issue of the journal Nutrition.