Omega-3: Natural Adderall?

While prescription drugs like Adderall, Vyvanse and Ritalin are leading the way in treatments for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), new studies have shed light on a more natural substance which may provide similar benefits.

Omega-3, a fatty acid supplement made from fish oil and often used for dieting and heart problems, has been proven to reduce the short attention span of young boys with ADHD.

According to a recent news article, the study (which was funded by Unilever Research & Development) involved 80 boys ages 8 to 14. Half of the participants were given a margarine to eat with omega-3, while the other half was given plain margarine every day for 16 weeks.

When the study was finished, an improvement in attention was seen in the boys who consumed the omega-3 margarine. Those who were given the margarine did not all have ADHD. Small changes were also seen in the boys who were not diagnosed with ADHD.

While experts say this study would not be called definitive, it has been proven that boys with ADHD have lower levels of omega-3 in their blood.

“Omega-3s are an important building block of the brain. It is abundantly present in the brain’s cell membranes, where it is thought to facilitate the transmission of neural signals,” said study researcher Dienke Bos, of the University Medical Center Utrecht.

Bos also said that if you don’t want your child to take more medicine, another way to obtain the fish oil is to encourage them to eat fatty fish, such as salmon, twice a week.

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