Omega-3 in monotherapy for ADHD


Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic, debilitating disorder which may affect all aspects of a child’s life (including academic difficulties, social skills problems, and parent-child relationships). ADHD impacts not only on the child, but also on parents and siblings, causing disturbances in the functioning of the entire family. Moreover, the disorder may persist into adulthood causing disruptions to both professional and personal life. Optimal management is needed in order to provide support for the children with ADHD, allowing them to achieve their full potential while minimising adverse effects on themselves and their environment. Current treatment focuses mainly on the short term relief of core symptoms, mainly during the school time. This means that important times of the day, such as early mornings before school and evening to bedtime, are not taken into account. This can negatively impact on child and family functioning and fail to optimise self esteem and long term mental health development.

Omega-3 supplementation has shown to be useful as an augmentation to standard pharmacological treatment in children with ADHD, and an increment in EPA + DHA levels in red blood cells is associated with an improvement in spelling and attention, a reduction in oppositional behavior, cognitive problems, hyperactivity and inattention. Recently omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in monotherapy has improved clinical symptoms and cognitive performances in children and adolescents with Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder(these youth have a deficiency in omega-3 levels). Given the low side effect profile of omega-3 versus the drugs of choice to treat ADHD, supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids coud become a good treatment option for ADHD (particularly if a child doesn’t eat at least two servings of fatty fish a week).


Chang JC, Su KP, Mondelli V, et al. Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Youths with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials and Biological Studies. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2017 Jul 25.

Harpin V. The effect of ADHD on the life of an individual, their family, and community from preschool to adult life. Arch Dis Child. 2005;90(Suppl 1):i2-i7.




DHA and prevention of cognitive problems

During gestation, DHA accumulates in brain tissue (especially during the third trimester). After birth and during childhood, DHA levels continue to increase in the areas associated[...]



Symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), that include difficulty staying focused, paying attention, controlling behavior and hyperactivity, appear between the a[...]