Omega Three Benefits

Omega 3 & ADHD: Can Omega 3 Fish Oil Treat ADHD?

adhd kidsOmega 3 has been one of the most talked-about health supplements, since first being identified as beneficial for heart health over 20 years ago. But what about Omega 3 as an ADHD remedy? Is it actually possible to treat such a complex condition with a natural substance? Many doctors and medical professionals now seem to think so.

Conventional ADHD Remedies

ADHD is a common condition and there are a wide range of medications available. But most of these medications are stimulants which can cause problems for some people. Side effects such as erratic mood swings and even weight gain are not uncommon which makes treatment extremely difficult in many cases.

Alternatively, non-stimulate drugs such as Atomoxetine are available but a lot of doctors and also patients question the effectiveness of this particular drug.

Because of the reasons above, a lot of people are now turning to alternative and more natural remedies to see if they can help. And Omega 3 is certainly one of the bigger players.

The Benefits

Omega 3 contains two main ingredients known as DHA and EPA. These are long-chain fatty acids and are essential in the development of the central nervous system and also proper functioning of the brain.

Omega 3 supplements are also commonly administered to sufferers of depression. This is because the DHA and EPA mentioned above helps to regulate and also encourage the production of serotonin. This is the naturally occurring chemical in our brain which makes us feel happy, and sometimes we simply require a little boost to get everything back in working order again. (Just one of many reasons why fish is considered healthy for you)

For sufferers of ADHD, this increase in serotonin in the brain can mean being able to concentrate for longer periods of time. And possibly a happier disposition due to increases in serotonin.

So How Do You Get Enough Omega 3?

Omega 3 can be found in various types of animals and plants, but getting enough – and particularly enough of the crucial DHA – especially for attempting to treat ADHD is especially important. If we source our Omega from fish for example, keep in mind these fish listed below as they offer the richest source:-

  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Hoki Fish
  • Trout
  • Mackerel
  • Anchovy

This can be a whole minefield though. As quality and amounts can vary enormously between types of fish species, with the freshness of fish and with the way it is handled and cooked. Read more about this in good food sources of DHA.

Be Careful When Buying Supplements!

Supplements can be a good answer – as long as you choose carefully. They are particularly useful with fussy eaters, or if you’re concerned about getting enough of the right kinds of foods. Or if you’re worried about mercury poisoning from fish.

There are a lot of companies out there that produce low-grade products, with just generic ‘fish oil’ content that ignores how important the source of that oil is. Choosing the right one is essential if you want to experience any potential benefits – and spotting those “bad apples” can be a challenge.

The first thing you need to find out about is the type of animal or organism that the omega has been sourced from. If you choose a fish oil product for example, try and make sure the fish originates comes from cleaner, unpolluted waters such as around New Zealand.

And do worry about the manufacturing process – it’s really important in regards to maintaining quality. If heat applied during the manufacturing process is too high, this can damage the most important ingredients in the supplement. Quality and care in preparation is vital.

If you want to try out the Omega 3 product I use then click here to get it online – I use it for general health, not as an Omega 3 ADHD supplement, but it ticks all the right boxes for quality so would be a great place to start.

Further reading:-
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at PubMed Health
National Institute of Mental Health on ADHD