Could Omega 3′s be used as a treatment for ADHD?

Omega 3My question is regarding the treatment of ADHD. I’m a psychologist in private practice on the West Island, specializing in assessments for ADHD and learning disabilities, etc. I usually talk about the most effective treatment being a combination of medication and behavioral interventions, etc. However, I’m wondering what you’ve found in your research regarding the use of Omega 3 for the treatment of ADHD. Everything I’ve read about dietary changes (and many other types of treatments) has indicated that they don’t help. However, there seem to be promising results with the use of Omega 3. What do you think? And if it is effective, at what dosages? Thanks very much! 

ADHD is a complex condition with no simple solution. Fish oil supplements as well as omega-3 fatty acid pills are aggressively marketed as a solution but the evidence is very thin. It is possible that dietary alterations may help, but there is no universal formula. The always reliable Dr. Ben Goldacre has discussed this issue and I’ve also provided two other discussions that might be of interest – The Omega Wave and a document on Nutrition and ADD/ADHD. I think the bottom line is that the jury is still out on fish oil supplements as they relate to ADHD but much of the promotional material is, let us say, fishy.

Joe Schwarcz

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