Research has shown the most effective treatment for the symptoms of ADHD is a combination of behavioral therapies and medication. However, some people may not be able to take medication. It may interfere with other medications they are on or they may have physical conditions that would prevent them from using ADHD medication. Others may prefer to manage symptoms through behavioral strategies. Some people might prefer to use alternative treatments, such as dietary supplements.
There have been a number of small studies that show promise for Omega 3 fatty acids as helpful in alleviating some of the symptoms of ADHD. According to Dr. Hallowell, of The Hallowell Center, a study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that these supplements could be a first-line intervention in treating ADHD and bipolar disorder. Further, Dr. Hallowell indicates that a smaller study completed at The Hallowell Center several years ago showed the same results. The study showed cognitive test scored increased and the negative symptoms of ADHD decreased.
Another study was completed in the United Kingdom. In this study, more than 100 students in 12 different schools took supplements containing high Omega 3 fats. The study showed that some children did better in school, joined more class discussions and found an increased interest in reading and other academic subjects. Children took the supplements for a period of six months.
According to the University of Maryland, children with lower levels of Omega 3 fatty acids "demonstrated more learning and behavioral problems (such as temper tantrums and sleep disturbances) than boys with normal omega-3 levels."
Although much of this research is preliminary and results from small studies, the promise of Omega-3 supplements helping to alleviate symptoms of ADHD and other mental illnesses such as depression and bipolar is exciting news.
The University of Maryland provides detailed information on how this supplement can help many different health related issues as well as explaining how the supplement should be taken.
Let me know what you think and if you have tried Omega 3. Have you seen any improvements? What did you see that you may be able to share with others?
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.