New review from Equazen™ reveals that fish oils can help children with this challenging condition
Fatty acid supplementation, in particular a specific omega-3 and 6 formulation, Equazen™ to support brain function, is the most promising of the dietary modifications for the management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) according to a new review.
The review, which collated evidence from nearly 30 papers, highlights a number of controlled clinical studies and meta-analyses showing that omega-3 supplementation such as the Equazen™ formulation, improves symptoms of ADHD. In particular, a meta-analysis of ten trials involving 699 children found that omega-3 supplementation, chiefly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) was effective in ADHD treatment and may help to enhance the effects of medication.
Lead author and dietitian, Dr Carrie Ruxton, said: “ADHD is a debilitating, chronic condition normally managed by drugs. However, these can cause side-effects for the children and young people taking them, leaving parents feeling frustrated and helpless. Adding diet therapy to the treatment regime is a way for parents, carers and patients to get involved in managing the symptoms of ADHD, and can even result in drug doses being reduced under medical supervision.
“Our review paper looked at various types of dietary interventions, such as low sugar diets, excluding certain foods or ingredients, vitamin and mineral supplementation and fatty acid supplementation. Of these, only fatty acid supplementation demonstrated consistent and statistically significant improvements in children with ADHD symptoms.
“In fact, several randomised controlled trials behind the omega 3 and 6 supplement, Equazen™ to support brain function, found that this unique blend in particular offered similar therapeutic benefits to a common ADHD drug, methylphenidate and reduced ADHD symptoms by 25% after 6 months by improving inattention, impulsiveness and cooperation.
“There is also evidence that children with ADHD have low blood levels of key long-chain omega-3 fatty acids suggesting that they may have higher requirements, or lower dietary intakes. Thus, a fatty acid supplement combining omega 3 and 6 in the correct ratio and that is scientifically proven is likely to benefit both nutritional status and behaviour”1.
Dr Ruxton adds: “It is now well accepted that omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids are needed for normal brain and nervous system function, with low intakes of omega-3s, in particular, being linked to a range of neurocognitive disorders so the findings from this research review are not surprising. Iron supplementation and avoidance of certain food additives were also found to be potentially useful dietary modifications for this condition”.
In summary, dad and GP, Dr Paul Stillman
notes: “Taking these studies together, a simple step for parents or carers of people with ADHD would be to offer a reputable daily supplement rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, particularly one with a high ratio of eicosapentaenoic acid and scientifically proven, such as Equazen™ for brain health.”
Equazen™ provides a naturally sourced, unique high EPA omega-3 formulation and uses fish oils from sustainable sources. It is suitable for children and adults and is available at pharmacies, supermarkets and health food stores.
Equazen capsules are available in pots of 60, 180 or 360 pharmaceutical-grade capsules. If you are taking the supplement for the first time, or after a long break, it is advisable to take six capsules a day for 12 weeks to restore body levels of essential fatty acids. A maintenance dose of two capsules a day will ensure optimal levels. A triple strength family formulation is also available.
Equazen liquid is ideal for children who don’t like swallowing pills and capsules. Available in two flavours — citrus and vanilla — these naturally sourced marine oils have been processed to remove as much fishy taste and odour as possible. A teaspoon of Equazen liquid is the equivalent of two capsules. Once opened, the oil should be kept refrigerated and used within three months.
Equazen chews deliver omega-3 and omega-6 oils in a delicious strawberry flavoured chew which is free from additives such as aspartame, saccharine or hydrogenated oils. Each chew contains the same balanced dose of EPA, DHA and GLA as one Equazen capsule. Available in pots of 60 or 180.
Equazen Baby provides a balanced blend of omega-3 and omega-6 for babies from six months to three years of age. You simply twist off the top of the capsule and squeeze the contents into any food or drink.
- ADHD is a chronic condition characterised by inattention, impulsivity, over activity and disruptive behaviour
- ADHD is typically classified as a childhood disorder as it tends to present in the first six years of life. However, 30-70% of cases persist into adulthood and the worldwide prevalence in adults estimated to be 2.5%1,2.
- The causes of ADHD are multi-faceted but are believed to result from a complex interplay between genetic and non-genetic factors.
- In terms of treatments, pharmacological approaches are well established and effective, but can lead to unwanted side effects.
- Parents should not change the dosage of prescribed medicines without GP advice and seeking their approval