Friday, October 17, 2008

Something Fishy: Omega-3s for ADHD

I've been doing a good deal of research into ADHD and some of the alternative therapies that are used to treat it. There are of course lots of ideas and home remedies for those who are looking for alternatives to amphetamines and also side-by-side therapies which sometimes allow folks to lessen the amount of medication they give their kids.

There are some, like St. John's Wort, which when tested, have proven to not be beneficial in any way, but I was happy to come across a couple therapies that really seem to be making significant positive changes in the lives of many ADHD kids and adults, and have some research to back them up!

One of those is removing foods which contain certain dyes and preservatives from the child's diet. Another is adding magnesium and zinc. I haven't looked into either of those too much, but have done quite a lot of studying into fish oils which contain EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids. These have been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Well, it seems it was found that kids with ADHD seem to have a severe deficiency in these fatty acids compared to the average kid. So, folks tried giving ADHD kids supplements and were thrilled to see that it helped them with focus and impulse control (but not so much with the hyperactivity).

I looked deeper into the issue and found lots of ADHD moms saying (in forums) that they had read somewhere and agreed that a 7:1 ratio of EPA to DHA in the oil was ideal and you want to give the kid about 1000mg of EPA a day.
While I was only able to find Moms who seemed to support this ratio and no scientific evidence of it being the best, it seems that many of the companies making fish oil for kids adhere to this ratio as opposed to the nearly opposite ratio for heart health.

It takes anywhere from 7 days to three months to see results but folks who stick with it seem thrilled with the results. Enough so that they are willing to keep forking over the bucks to buy the supplements with just the right ratio.
So, we decided to give this a try. We had gone out and bought a couple bottles of chewable gummy supplements before realizing that there is an ideal ratio to take. So, since this is a process of building up the acids in your body, we figure what he is getting won't hurt and that we will go through what we have before buying the ones with the correct ratio.

Michael and I have decided to start taking it too, since we are not eating any fish on a regular basis.

I, personally have had an odd heart arrhythmia since I was a teen, have had occasional painful joints for years, and the hubs has suggested that some of my odd quirks could be signs of (often genetic) ADHD. Well, it seems the three things Omega-3 are good for? Well, it's heart health (lowering your cholesterol!), inflammation of joints and ADHD!! YAY for me!

If you are interested in which brands fall into the ADHD therapeutic ratio, let me know and I can point you towards a list (if I can find it again.... sigh...).

I have to say that Noah came home with a note from the teacher mentioning his positive attitude today, which just thrilled me to no end. Could be coincidence but I will take it!


Snowbird said...

I've taken fish oil for several years now. I don't know that I feel any better but hopefully it is working to help the old ticker. Hopefully this will work for you and Noah.

Anonymous said...

I was recently guided to a book by my MD. It's called Superimmunity for Kids by Leo Galland MD and Dian Dincin Buchman PhD.

EFA's are a big part of the beginning. Unfortunately that's all the further I've gotten since I got the book 2 days ago.

If you check it out I'd be very interested in your input especially with your husband's profession.