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Nutrition. 2015 Jul-Aug;31(7-8):935-40. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.12.026. Epub 2015 Jan 13.

Protective effects of dietary supplementation with natural ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on the visual acuity of school-age children with lower IQ or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Child Health Care, Children's Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
2
Centre for Disease Control, Yuyao, China.
3
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Guangdong Medical College, Zhanjiang, China.
4
Department of Child Health Care, Children's Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. Electronic address: ympeng@fudan.edu.cn.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Little attention has been paid to the possible protective role of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on the visual acuity of school-age children with lower IQs or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary ω-3 PUFAs on the visual acuity and red blood cell (RBC) fatty acid compositions of these children.

METHODS:

We randomly assigned 179 children with lower IQs or ADHD to receive ordinary eggs (control group, n = 90) or eggs rich in C18:3 ω-3, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5 ω-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6 ω-3) for 3 mo (study group, n = 89). Before and after the intervention, distance visual acuity was tested using an E chart and the RBC fatty acid composition was determined using capillary gas chromatography.

RESULTS:

Three months later, 171 children completed the follow-up with the exception of 8 children who were unavailable during follow-up. Both groups of children showed a significant improvement in visual acuity (P < 0.05), however, visual acuity in the study group was significantly better than that of the control group (P = 0.013). The C18:3 ω-3 (P = 0.009), DHA (P = 0.009) and ∑ω-3 (P = 0.022) levels of the intervention group were significantly higher than those of the control group, while the C20:4 ω-6 (P = 0.003), C22:4 ω-6 (P = 0.000), ∑ω-6 (P = 0.001), ∑ω-6/∑ω-3 (P = 0.000) and arachidonic acid/DHA (P = 0.000) of the study group were significantly lower than those of the control group. No significant differences in the levels of C18:2 ω-6 (P = 0.723), C20:2 ω-6 (P = 0.249), C20:3 ω-6 (P = 0.258), C20:5 ω-3 (P = 0.051), or C22:5 (P = 0.200) were found between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Dietary supplementation with ω-3 PUFAs improves both visual acuity and the RBC fatty acid profile in school-age children with lower IQs or ADHD.

KEYWORDS:

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; Dietary supplementation; Lower IQ; School-age children; Visual acuity; ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids

PMID:
26015389
DOI:
10.1016/j.nut.2014.12.026
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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