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J Atten Disord. 2015 Nov;19(11):954-64. doi: 10.1177/1087054713510562. Epub 2013 Nov 8.

Increased Erythrocyte Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid Are Associated With Improved Attention and Behavior in Children With ADHD in a Randomized Controlled Three-Way Crossover Trial.

Author information

1
Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
2
University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia natalie.parletta@unisa.edu.au.
3
University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.
4
Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
5
University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) on attention, literacy, and behavior in children with ADHD.

METHOD:

Ninety children were randomized to consume supplements high in EPA, DHA, or linoleic acid (control) for 4 months each in a crossover design. Erythrocyte fatty acids, attention, cognition, literacy, and Conners' Parent Rating Scales (CPRS) were measured at 0, 4, 8, 12 months.

RESULTS:

Fifty-three children completed the treatment. Outcome measures showed no significant differences between the three treatments. However, in children with blood samples (n = 76-46), increased erythrocyte EPA + DHA was associated with improved spelling (r = .365, p < .001) and attention (r = -.540, p < .001) and reduced oppositional behavior (r = -.301, p < .003), hyperactivity (r = -.310, p < .001), cognitive problems (r = -.326, p < .001), Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV) hyperactivity (r = -.270, p = .002) and DSM-IV inattention (r = -.343, p < .001).

CONCLUSION:

Increasing erythrocyte DHA and EPA via dietary supplementation may improve behavior, attention, and literacy in children with ADHD.

KEYWORDS:

ADD/ADHD; behavior; cognition; fatty acid; nutrition

PMID:
24214970
DOI:
10.1177/1087054713510562
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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