Omega 3 Kids Study
The study - undertaken at the University of South Australia - involved…
132 children aged between 7 and 12
All the children had ADHD symptoms, and an omega-3 fatty acid supplement was tested to see whether it had any effect on their condition. The children were split into three different groups for the first part of the test.
-Group 1- omega-3 supplement -Group 2- omega-3 and multivitamin -Group 3- palm oil capsule (placebo)
The study lasted 15 weeks.
Benefits of Omega-3 for Child Behavior
The second part of the study involved all children being given the omega-3 supplement and a multi-vitamin, and lasted for a further 15 weeks. According to researchers, at the end of the trial, nearly half of all the children saw a "significant" reduction in their ADHD symptoms, including impulsive behavior, hyperactivity and inattention. When the placebo group had switched to the omega-3 and multi-vitamin supplements at the end of the first 15 weeks, they showed an improvement in attention span and parent behavior ratings.
But that's not all. The group who took omega-3 from the beginning of the study continued to show improvements after an additional 15 weeks when it came to inattention, impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, restlessness, and cognitive problems. However, the multi-vitamin showed no additional benefits for children with ADHD symptoms, suggesting that fatty acids can be beneficial for those who suffer with this condition.
This is not the first study to measure the effectiveness of omega-3 supplements on children with behavioral conditions. Research undertaken by Oxford University and Durham County Council in the United Kingdom found that 40 percent of 117 children studied showed an improvement in their spelling and reading after taking an omega-3 supplement. All the children in the research had learning and behavioral conditions.
So, what it is about omega-3 that could be having a positive effect on child behavior?
docosahexaenoic acid - or DHA
This essential fat is found in omega-3 which could help to generate an improvement in brain function. This healthy fat is usually found in seafood, which a lot of children are missing in their diets. The result? A boost in brain performance during infant and school-age years.
Kids First Pediatrics in Raleigh, NC provides ADHD testing for children in the Triangle area. We also provide child behavior resources for parents. Contact us today to set up an appointment to talk about your child’s behavior habits.