We are all aware that supplement pills have a lot of benefits on our health and we can even use some of them with the purpose of improving some of the symptoms of certain diseases. It’s time for the omega 3 fatty acids supplements to enter the stage and say their word against boys who suffer from ADHD.
Fatty Acids and ADHD
It seems that according to a study from Netherlands, omega 3 fatty acids and omega 3 supplements may help boys alleviate their ADHD symptoms. The study was conducted on 80 boys aged 8 to 14 and diagnosed with ADHD. A part of them were asked to consume omega 3 supplements extracted from a margarine that contained omega 3 fatty acids and the other part consumed just regular margarine.
All of the participants consumed their margarine for like 16 weeks. The study results proved that the boys whom consumed omega 3 supplements could notice a reduction in the problems with their attention – as stated by their parents – unlike the other boys who didn’t consume this supplement at all. Although the researchers noted improvements in both categories of participants, the greatest results were marked by the boys who’d consumed omega 3 supplements. This study is only providing support and evidence that omega 3 fatty acids can show an improvement if they are used as treatment for ADHD boys.
There had been a number of studies developed on this subject, and each one of them showed a different result. Some studies showed that kids suffered a small improvement in their ADHD symptoms when consuming omega 3 fatty acid supplements, while others didn’t find any improvements at all. I guess that the right answer in this case depends on how exactly the boy’s body reacts to omega 3 fatty acids supplements, but since there is medical evidence that omega 3 supplements can be used as treatment for ADHD boys, I believe this is a good start if you want to help your kid get better.
But for now, let’s find out more about the ADHD health problem and how does omega 3 supplements improve its symptoms!
What is ADHD?
ADHD is short for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In essence, this is a behavioral disorder that manifests itself by affecting the person’s ability to focus on a specific activity. This disorder is characterized by a series of factors, such as: anxiety, mood swings, impulsivity, sleep disturbances, hostility signs. These factors can be associated with symptoms such as headaches or headaches and gastric discomfort. The people or kids that are suffering from ADHD usually show a low birth weight, autoimmune diseases and several types of allergies.
The ADHD can affect both men and women, but the chances of developing this disorder are higher for boys than girls, the scores being 4:1 for boys. However, the ADHD cannot be treated definitely, so, although you can manage to find a way to diminish the symptoms considerably, some of them or maybe all of them can still persist in adulthood. Specialists think that ADHD is a type of disorder that involves a functional deficiency of the EPA and DHA fats, which is a situation that can often coincide with the iron and/or zinc deficiency. At the present time, there is unclear the micronutrient deficiencies are they cause of ADHD or can actually cause ADHD.
Among the causes that can lead to developing this disorder, there can be named several:
– A strong emotional state, such as the death of a parent, divorce, separation from parents;
– Unjustified crisis, as weak forms of epilepsy;
– A middle ear infection that can lead to impaired hearing;
– Eye diseases;
– Medical conditions that affect the smooth functioning of the brain;
– Anxiety and depression
What can we do in order to treat the ADHD?
Well, according to doctors, we should eat lots of fats. Why? Well, the reason is that the fats are organic substances that are essential for the proper function of our brain, especially if we think about the central nervous system function. It is due to this correlation that fats are considered to be key factors in the development of the ADHD.
There are two types of healthy fats for the human body: the EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid, which have a number of properties that are good for the brain and body control, and the DHA or docosahexaenoic acid, which is the main factor that can help in developing the neuronal membrane and has an influence on the cellular stimuli. EPA and DHA are both omega 3 fats and they can be produced from omega 3 essential fatty acids. But the thing is, there are certain genetic or environmental causes that can provoke many errors during the conversion of fats process, which can cause the appearance of the differences when it comes to the human body ability to convert ALA into DHA and EPA.
If we consider that the majority of food that we eat today contain high amounts of omega 6 fats or saturated and hydrogenated fats, and they often have omega 3 fats and micronutrients, it is no wonder why, in order to prevent functional deficiencies that can be caused by these fat diets, we should consume a lower amount of omega 6 essential fatty acids and a higher amount of omega 3 fatty acids.
What are the foods that contain omega 6 fatty acids?
- Sunflower, safflower, savory palms, peanuts, sesame, soybean oil
What are the foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids?
- Rapeseed, walnut oil, flax, basil, spinach, coriander, mint, parsley.
What are the foods that contain EPA and DHA fats?
- Seafood, fish oil, salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, anchovies, sardines, tuna. Also, we can find DHA fats in liver and egg yolk, which is why these foods should be included in our diets, but however, they should be eaten in small amounts if we take nutritional supplements that contain a high amount of vitamin A.
As we’ve seen so far, the proportion of omega 3 supplements are particularly important in the case of a positive development for children with the ADHD. It has been shown that an increased intake of the omega 3 fatty acids can significantly reduce the hyperactivity tendencies for the children diagnosed with ADHD.
The DHA is a fatty acid that is essential for a normal brain development and function, both in fetal and infant, as well as for the entire lifetime. DHA is actually an essential component that is found in the human cell membrane phospholipids. It is well known that in our first year of life, the brain can actually triple its size. Thus, DHA is just one of the two main fatty acids extracted from fish oil, polyunsaturated fatty acids that are also known as omega 3.
The polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential for our health because they cannot actually be synthesized by the boy and we have to extract them from food supplements. In the retinal cell membrane phospholipids, nerve and myelin can be found the highest concentration of fatty acids. Actually, we know that our brain is composed of 60% fats, and 30% of it is DHA. As rich in omega 3 as DHA is also the EPA. A DHA in its pure form can do a lot of good for a child, especially in the case of ADHD.
It can improve the child’s cognitive performance, helps him concentrate better and improves his memory, also being able to reduce the manifestations of hereditary disorders that prevent the amino acid phenylalanine to be metabolized. It is also recommended that the child should be given Multivitamin and Mineral, which is a mega nutrient that actually completes the daily requirements of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for a harmonious growth and a healthy nutrition for kids.
What about the antioxidants in our diet? Are they a good thing or a bad thing?
Antioxidants are, in fact, nutrients, such as vitamin E or selenium, or biologically active substances, such as flavonoids, carotid, anthocyanins, that can be found especially in the fruits and vegetables or tea and red wine. We can find vitamin E in its natural form in foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fats, as are oils from flaxseed and sunflower, nuts and so on. Selenium can be extracted from foods like fish, seafood, eggs, liver, mushrooms and lentils. If we consume some of these foods daily, then we can say that our body receives its full requirement of antioxidants.
What about iron intake?
When it comes to iron deficiency in infancy, this is usually associated with the ADHD occurrence. The ferritin can alleviate the symptoms that are caused by the ADHD and can prevent serious cognitive deficiencies. We can extract iron from foods such as: red meat, whole grains, prunes and dried apricots.
What about zinc intake?
The zinc is said to have multiple benefits for the human body, which includes the control of the metabolism of neurotransmitters and fatty acids. Also, it is known that zinc deficiencies can lead to the development of ADHD. So, the children with ADHD who had received a treatment based on nutritional zinc supplements had shown improvement in their symptoms such as hyperactivity, social isolation and impulsivity, this compared to children that were not treated with zinc supplements. We can find zinc in lots of foods such as: liver, nuts, seafood, whole grains.
What about additive aliments in our diets?
According to specialists, it has been demonstrated that there are certain synthethic colors and flavors that can increase the risk of hyperactivity in people that are suffering or not yet suffering from ADHD. The role of these additive aliments is to actually increase the shelf life of foods, but by doing so, they also decrease the foods’ quality.
We should be careful at the food additives with severe effects, such as benzoic acid, sodium benzoate, sulfur dioxide, vanillin and sodium metabisulfite, plus the E-series: E102, E104, 107, E110, E122, E123, E124, E128, E133, E 142, E150, E151, E154, E155, E180, E221, E222, E223, E224, E226, E227, E228. The foods that contain these additives should not be eaten by a normal healthy adult, nonetheless by a child that is suffering from ADHD!
So what are the benefits of the ADHD diet? How does this diet work?
Well, the ADHD diet works by ensuring the exact quantity and quality of the fats that are needed in order for the central nervous system to function properly and also by delivering the necessary quantities of iron and zinc, in the same time being able to avoid the nutritional deficiencies that are associated with these diseases, especially if the disease is worsening the symptoms of ADHD.
Nutritional omega 3 fatty acids supplements should be only taken after the doctor’s approval, in order to help you adopt a healthy and a more balanced diet. So why do we need to introduce the antioxidants in our diets? Well, this is because it is necessary to protect the healthy fat loss, which can actually affect our brain structure or even compromise the neuronal signal of the entire brand and also the central nervous system.
Last but not the least, you have to also know that the ADH diet actually excludes all the food additives which has been found to worsen the children suffering or not yet suffering from ADHD symptoms.
To cut the long story short, the benefits of the ADHD diet are the followings:
- Contains the recommended foods that are necessary for the proper function of the bran and our whole body
- Ensuring the necessary nutrients that are needed for a normal growth and a normal development in children
- It can allow the administration of other treatments given by the doctor, this fact serving at the improvement of the quality of life and also for providing a certain food education for people with the ADHD.
We should also consider the risks and the prevention measures in case of ADHD. Even if a healthy diet consultation with a nutritionist doctor is always available, since most patients are children with ADHD, any diet and inadequate treatment can affect their whole life. Thus, for any nutritional supplement, you should understand what this disease is all about, what can really help the patient and document yourself well before starting to seek a proper medical treatment.
It has been found that fish oil supplements that are administered for a long time can stimulate the effects of drugs, which involves exacerbation of hyperactive children with ADHD. In this situation, supplements should be administered and dispensed only by the treating physician, who already has an overview of the amount of treatment provided supplements and eating.
All in all, don’t forget that the omega 3 supplements are always a good start if you want to do something to improve the child’s attention symptoms. They are relatively safe and cannot do any more harm than it has already been done to the children. So, the omega 3 supplements can definitely worth a try, although we must expect not to see a dramatic improvement in the symptoms.
Regarding the omega 3 fatty acids supplements side effects, there has not been found any side effects of this supplement so far, and this was a fact that was confirmed by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. However, there is a slight chance that the omega 3 supplements can extend the time that it usually takes for a wound to stop bleeding. If the case gets serious, people are asked to go to talk with their care provider.
In conclusion, we should keep in mind that administering omega 3 supplements to a child that has ADHD can’t possibly do him or her any harm, but in fact, it can actually increase his or her chances of improving his or her ADHD symptoms!