View Full Version : Cool Research on Omega III's and kids


Scattered
02-04-10, 06:48 PM
ADDitude Magazine had some very cool research on Omega III's and kids. One study out of Sweden showed that 50% of the kids of Omega III's improved at the six month mark. Another study showed that kids improved in reading, spelling, and behavior when they took Omega III's.

I know from personal experience that it helps my daughter and me, but it's nice to see research backing that up.:D

MuscleMama
02-05-10, 09:23 AM
I've been giving my son fish oil every morning for a few years and he was diagnosed with ADHD a year ago. Could it have helped and made it less severe than it might have been otherwise? Honestly I have no way of knowing. Based on what I've read about the health benefits of fish oil I think everyone should take it daily.

Lunacie
02-05-10, 10:03 AM
Do you have a link to that article? I read an article awhile back about research in Australia on the affects of a combination of Fish Oil and Evening Primrose Oil. I'd be quite interested in reading of more research that shows a similar result.

I started taking Omega 3 (fish oil) about 7 years ago and have been very pleased with the results. However, when we tried my oldest granddaughter on it, it didn't seem to have any benefit for her at all. She has severe ADHD while I have predominately Inattentive ADHD. Don't know if that explains the difference in results?

Lady Lark
02-05-10, 11:17 AM
We saw some slight improvements, but once he threw up on the kitchen floor in the morning he stopped taking it. The minimal gains weren't worth that. :p

MuscleMama
02-05-10, 11:44 AM
We saw some slight improvements, but once he threw up on the kitchen floor in the morning he stopped taking it. The minimal gains weren't worth that. :p

Was that a liquid on a spoon or a pill? My son takes a pill. It's actually quite big, but my son is funny that way, he is great at taking pills they don't bother him at all. My younger son can't take pills and I found some fish oil gummy vitamins that he takes instead.

I remember taking cod liver oil from a spoon as a kid and it was NASTY! :p

Lunacie
02-05-10, 04:38 PM
I've considered poking a hole in one of the gelatin capsules and squeezing the contents into a carton of pudding or yogurt, or a small serving of applesauce. This is generally the way we give my Autistic granddaughter her medication for anxiety. We tried dropping it straight onto her tongue and could tell very clearly that it tasted horrible. Putting a very small dose into something sweet seems to cover the taste just fine for her. But until we're sure of the effects of the medication, we're not adding anything like supplements that could change the response.

Lady Lark
02-05-10, 05:40 PM
It was a pill. Well the gelatin capsules type anyway. I think part of his problem was that a lot of times he bit it, and then would spit out the shell. I kept telling him he could just swallow it like a regular pill, but he's a stubborn one.

Anyway, with the arguing about taking it, the upset stomach, then the grand finale the gains weren't worth the cost. It wasn't like we saw leaps and bounds with it anyway.

Scattered
02-05-10, 06:16 PM
I think the biggest difference I saw for my daughter and I was in mood modulation. That's a big factor for a lot of people with ADD and being better able to stay calm helps with everything else.

My understanding is that the Omega III provides the building blocks and then if you exercise you kind of flip the switch to make more dopamine and serotonin. Hallowell and Ratey in their book Delivered from Distraction say that if you can only take one supplement, that should be it.

Ms. Mango
02-06-10, 04:25 PM
I voted no. DS takes 500mg/day (capsule--PlusEPA--100% EPA and expensive but a small capsule he is able to swallow) with no improvement in behavior. I've continued to give it to him and take fish oil myself because there are other health (primarily cardiovascular) benefits to taking it. DH will be joining us as his doctor recommended omega-3s at his last checkup.

The amount of fish oil you would have to consume on a daily basis to see the results claimed is quite a bit more than most people take. The Hallowell study initially gave children 16.2 GRAMS of fish oil per day. That's over 32 times the amount my son takes. In subsequent weeks the levels were decreased to roughly 8 to 12 grams.

How the @#%$#@% am I supposed to get that much fish oil into him? Not only that--but what about the cost. The brand I give him would cost me approximately $19/day initially.

Here's a link to the Hallowell study:

http://www.nutritionj.com/content/6/1/16

Lunacie
02-06-10, 06:29 PM
And here's a link (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/121421594/HTMLSTART) showing results from quite a few studies where students were given much more normal doses of fish oil to have shown results like this:


Since these small trials, the results of two large, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind interventions have been published. The first was conducted in the United Kingdom with 117 non-medicated children aged 5–12 years with developmental coordination disorder; a third of these children had ADHD symptoms above the 90th percentile, placing them in the clinical range for a probable ADHD diagnosis. On average, these children were functioning a year behind their chronological age on reading and spelling. Following 3 months of daily supplementation with 552 mg EPA and 168 mg DHA with 60 mg gamma linolenic acid (GLA; omega-6 PUFA), children in the treatment group showed significant improvements in core ADHD symptoms, as rated by teachers on Conners' Rating Scales. The treatment groups also increased their reading age by 9.5 months (compared to 3.3 months in the placebo group) and their spelling age by 6.6 months (compared to 1.2 months in the placebo group).64 (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/121421594/main.html,ftx_abs#b64) A review of the above-mentioned studies was published following the latter trial.65 (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/121421594/main.html,ftx_abs#b65)


I've seen quite a number of posters on this forum mention good results from taking less than 1000 mg of fish oil daily - as well as some who said they didn't experience any positive changes. I myself take two capsules daily for a total of 720 mg EPA and 480 mg DHA from a very inexpensive source and have notice very good improverment indeed - most noticable when I've stopped taking the fish oil and realize I'm getting all "foggy" again.

qanda
02-06-10, 06:45 PM
We started giving our 8 yr old daughter fish oil about a year ago (2 MorEpa mini junior capsules a day). It has helped her mood. She still is anxious, but things are definitely better, and we saw results within a couple months.

Lunacie
02-06-10, 06:58 PM
We started giving our 8 yr old daughter fish oil about a year ago (2 MorEpa mini junior capsules a day). It has helped her mood. She still is anxious, but things are definitely better, and we saw results within a couple months.

Maybe my oldest granddaughter didn't try it long enough to see any benefits, she probably only tried it for about two weeks. I considered giving it to the youngest granddaughter to help with her anxiety, but her mom talked it over with the doctor and they agreed to a trial of prescription meds first. It's been a month since she started those and her anxiety level doesn't seem to have improved yet. Mom would like to stop the med for a couple of weeks and see if the anxiety worsens in case there's been an improvement and we're just not seeing it.

Scattered
02-06-10, 08:11 PM
Do you have a link to that article? I read an article awhile back about research in Australia on the affects of a combination of Fish Oil and Evening Primrose Oil. I'd be quite interested in reading of more research that shows a similar result.
ADDitude Magazine e-mailed it to me in a year end summary -- I'm not sure how to link that, but here is a clip from the article.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Omega-3s are believed to be important in brain and nerve cell function. A new study, conducted at Göteborg University, in Sweden, concluded that daily doses of omega-3s -- found in cold-water, fatty fish, such as sardines, tuna, and salmon -- reduced ADHD symptoms by 50 percent. Dr. Sven Ostlund followed a group of ADHD children aged 8-18 who took fish oil daily. Within six months, there was a noticeable decrease in ADHD symptoms in 25 percent of the children.
Another study showed that omega-3s tend to break down more readily in the bodies of patients with ADHD than in those without the condition. “ADDers who have low blood levels of omega-3s will show the biggest improvement in mental focus and cognitive function,” says Brown. “Sometimes the change is dramatic.”

canukie
02-07-10, 01:00 AM
I can't get my 12 yo adhd son to take any omegas but having spent good money on a high quality brand (Nutrasea sold in Canada) I am taking it myself. I have noticed a very significant improvement in my concentration level. I'm 46 and probably have hormone issues (and I don't have adhd) but have had terrible brain fog for the last 2 years. I have astonished myself with what I have done and not been able to do, while under brain fog :) ...Anyway, since I've been taking the fish oil, I have not had any issues. I'm functioning alot better at work, and I write alot so I'm actually getting stuff out of my head these days, on paper. I think it works, but then again, I was probably deficient in that particular nutrient.

Scattered
02-09-10, 03:17 AM
GummyVites has a Omega III gummy that my kids will eat. There are also also other lemon, strawberry and other flavored chewy's that health food stores carry that your child might be more likely to tolerate. That's what I had to do until mine got a little bit older.

LynneC
02-10-10, 03:10 PM
I just started my 7 year old on 1 tsp per day of Carlson's Very Finest fish oil (lemon flavored oil). I take it also, for heart issues. 1 tsp provides about 1300 mg EPA + DHA, and my son takes it without complaining. It actually tastes pretty good!

It should be refrigerated, which prevents oxidation from occuring. Aside from the problem of kids swallowing pills, it's possible that the oil in a gel-cap will be rancid. Pierce one open to make sure it doesn't have an overwhelmingly fishy, nasty smell. If it does, get rid of them and try a different brand, or the flavored oil.

If you buy online, Vitacost has great prices.

The ADHD Fan
02-10-10, 03:45 PM
Here are some recent studies on omega-3's and ADHD (full-text article links should be available for most of these). Many seemed to be middle of the road with their findings:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19436468

This one comments on how omega-3 fatty acids in ADHD children might be due more to how the kids metabolize the omega-3's as opposed to just having a dietary deficiency.

If you're interested, I compiled a blog article about a year ago which goes a bit more into the details as to the theory behind omega-3 supplementation for ADHD (http://adhd-treatment-options.blogspot.com/2009/01/omega-3-fatty-acids-and-adhd-theory.html) if anyone's interested. Of course, theory and reality are often 2 very different things!