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Omega-3 fish oil is as remarkable as some ADHD remedies for children

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Researchers from King's College London and Chinese Medical University in Taiwan Taichung, Taiwan, focus attention on children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) of omega-3 fish oil supplements, but only those with low levels of omega-3 in their blood. developed.

Researchers say the results show that omega-3 only works for some children with ADHD, bringing a personalized medical approach to psychiatry. A previous study by the same group found that children with omega-3 deficiencies were more likely to experience more severe ADHD.

In a randomized controlled trial, 92 children aged 6-18 years with ADHD were given high doses of omega-3 fatty acid EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) or placebo for 12 weeks. Results published in the journal Translation Psychiatry.

The researchers found that children with the lowest levels of EPA in the blood showed improved attention and attention after taking omega-3 supplements, but did not appear to have normal or elevated blood levels of EPA. In addition, for children with high levels of EPA in the blood, omega-3 supplements had a negative effect on impulsivity symptoms.

Researchers warn that parents should consult their medical professional before choosing to give omega-3 supplements to their children. Omega-3 deficiency can be detected by the presence of dry and scaly skin, eczema and dry eyes, and can be confirmed by a blood test as performed in this study (currently the blood test is for research purposes only). .

Previous studies have found inconsistent findings of omega-3 supplementation in ADHD symptoms, and their overall effect size is relatively small. Standard treatments for parents with children with ADHD include stimulants such as methylphenidate. The magnitude of improvement in recovery and alertness from methylphenidate is 0.22-0.42. In contrast, the effect sizes in the omega-3 supplementation study for children with low levels of EPA in the blood were larger, 0.89 for focused attention and 0.83 for attention.

Dr. King's co-researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience. -3 Lack. On the other hand, it is possible to have something very good and parents should always consult their child's psychiatrists because our study suggests that there may be adverse effects for some children. & # 39;

King's senior researcher from the Institute of Psychiatry, the Institute of Psychology and Neuroscience. Fish oil supplements for children with significant nutrients Omega-3 deficiency may be the preferred option for standard stimulant therapies. Our study is an important precedent for other nutritional interventions, and it is important for personalized psychiatry & # 39; We can start bringing benefits to children with ADHD. & # 39;

The study was conducted in Taiwan, where diets often contain abundant fish compared to diets in Europe and North America. Most studies of children with ADHD, largely conducted in Western countries, showed lower blood EPA levels than those performed in this study.

Professor Kuan-Pin Su, a joint research fellow at the Chinese Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan, said: EP With a good diet with plenty of fish common in some Asian countries, high blood levels can be achieved without the use of EPA. Like Taiwan and Japan. EPA deficiency is likely to be more prevalent among children with ADHD in countries with less fish consumption, such as in many countries in North America and Europe, and fish oil supplementation may have more common benefits than our research for the treatment of the condition. . & # 39;

Fish oil supplements have no effect on anxiety and depression

More information:
Translation Psychiatry (2019). DOI: 10.1038 / s41398-019-0633-0,

Presented by
King's College London

Omega-3 fish oil is as remarkable as ADHD medications for some children (2019, 19 November)
Retrieved on November 20, 2019

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