Food and Behaviour Research

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Supplementation with high-content docosahexaenoic acid triglyceride in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial

Rodríguez C, García T, Areces D, Fernández E, García-Noriega M, Domingo JC (2019) Neuropsychiatr. Dis. Treat. 2019 June:15  1193-1209 

Web URL: Read this and related abstracts on PubMed here


Background: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex disorder in terms of etiology, clinical presentation, and treatment outcome. Pharmacological and psychological interventions are recommended as primary treatments in ADHD; however, other nonpharmacological intervention such as a dietary supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) has emerged as an attractive option.

Purpose: The objective of the present study was to assess whether dietary supplementation with highly concentrated ω-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) triglyceride may improve symptoms in ADHD.

Method: A 6-month prospective double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial was designed in 66 patients with ADHD, aged between 6 and 18 years. Participants in the experimental group received a combination of ω-3 fatty acids (DHA 1,000 mg, eicosapentaenoic acid 90 mg, and docosapentaenoic acid 150 mg). Instruments included d2-test, AULA Nesplora, EDAH scales, and abbreviated Conner’s Rating Scale.

Results: In the cognitive test, between-group differences were not found, but within-group differences were of a greater magnitude in the DHA group. Between-group differences in favor of the DHA arm were observed in behavioral measures, which were already detected after 3 months of treatment. Results were not changed when adjusted by ADHD medication.

Conclusions: This study provides further evidence of the beneficial effect of supplementation with ω-3 DHA in the management of ADHD.


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