Fish oil reduces ADHD in children, reveals new study

A specific omega-3 and 6 supplement – Equazen eye q – can help reduce symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children according to a new study.* Equazen eye q, when taken in combination with ADHD medication can also reduce the dosage of medication required so reducing the side effects.

Commenting on this new study regarding Equazen eye q, Dr Carrie Ruxton, an independent dietitian notes: “This latest study investigated the effectiveness and safety of the Equazen eye q formulation on ADHD either alone or in combination with ADHD medication. The study evaluated 90 children (6-12 years) who were recently diagnosed with ADHD of all subtypes. At the start of the 12 month study, the children were divided randomly into three groups. Group 1 were given a daily dose of the ADHD medication methylphenidate (MPH). Group 2 was given a daily dose of six Equazen eye q capsules. Group 3 was given a combination of both MPH and Equazen eye q. Equazen eye q omega-3 and omega-6 formulation contains a specific (9:3:1) ratio of the fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).

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“Of particular note, is that the combined treatment of MPH and Equazen eye q resulted in this group needing a lower dose of MPH to reduce their ADHD symptoms. The completion rate was also higher in this group, whilst the withdrawal rate and the incidence of adverse events were significantly lower. This suggests that the combination of Equazen eye q with MPH may lead to improved treatment adherence compared with MPH alone.

“Within this combined treatment group, the side-effects sometimes experienced with MPH – insomnia, tremors, tics, palpitations and hyporexia (loss of appetite) – were also significantly reduced.

“In the group given Equazen eye q alone, significant improvements were seen in the inattentive ADHD subtype.”
Commenting on the research further, Dr Eduardo Barragán who was the lead study author, and paediatric neurologist at the Hospital Infantil de México notes:

“The data results suggest that nutritional supplementation with the specific combination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids – Equazen eye q – used in this study is an effective, well-tolerated option for children with ADHD when used alone. In addition, while results with stimulant medication tend to be seen very quickly, it is important to ensure dietary intervention with the Equazen eye q capsules is given for the appropriate amount of time for effects to be seen. Improvements were seen at four to six weeks with the full effect observed between eight to 12 weeks and lasting for the duration of the trial.”

In summary, Dr Carrie Ruxton notes: “The benefits of this specific omega-3 and omega-6 supplement in enabling the use of a lower dose of MPH while reducing the side effects of MPH is really good news.”

“Given the findings were based solely on the specific Equazen eye q formulation this latest research data should not be translated to other omega-3 and omega-6 preparations.”

Further studies are now being planned.

ADHD – facts and stats:

  • Parents should always speak to their family doctor before giving supplements to their child with ADHD, particularly if medication is being prescribed.
  • ADHD is a common and impairing behavioural condition affecting five to seven per cent of school-aged children with a higher prevalence in boys than girls (4:1).  Around 80 per cent of children diagnosed with ADHD experience symptoms during adolescence and 67 per cent still have symptoms into adulthood.
  • This condition affects parts of the brain which control attention, impulses and concentration and is characterised by three main types of ADHD traits. These include: the hyperactive-impulsive subtype, inattentive subtype, and the most common, which is the combined subtype with sufferers displaying the majority of ADHD symptoms.

Associated with a range of learning, social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, the effects of unrecognised ADHD can be disastrous for undiagnosed individuals and their families. Treatment with stimulant medication such as methylphenidate (MPH) remains one of the most common approaches to the management of ADHD.

However, in recent years, concerns have been raised as to the risk of potential adverse effects of MPH. These include depression, skin rashes and growth inhibition.Despite this, during the last six years, there has been a 50 per cent increase in UK prescriptions for ADHD medication prompting some experts to question whether there is an over reliance on medication to treat the condition.

Furthermore, experts believe there is a link between a deficiency of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) (eg, EPA and DHA) and the development of ADHD.

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Good fats help brain decline in older people, new study reveals

Tokyo: The decline of cognitive function in older people is less in those who take a combination supplement, containing, food fats, a new study from Japan has revealed.
The findings of a three year study that evaluated the effects of capsules containing 1,182 milligrams purified fish oils containing 290 milligrams eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 203 milligrams docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); 84 milligrams lycopene from tomato and 240 milligrams Ginkgo biloba extract.  The pill was given to 41 participants aged 65 and older,  daily for three years.
Salmon.jpgThe total control group consisted of 622 participants with no supplement intake or serious diseases. Tests of cognitive function, including attention, memory, language and reasoning skills, were administered at the beginning and end of the study. Blood samples collected at the initial examination were analyzed for apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype and other factors. 
The authors of the study said:  “An increasing number of studies in cell lines, targeted replacement rodents, and human volunteers indicate higher oxidative stress and a more pro-inflammatory state associated with the apolipoprotein E4 allele (APOE4).”
Although memory scores improved in both groups, the increase was larger in those who received the supplements compared to the controls. Language ability and attention declined in those who did not receive the supplements, while remaining stable in supplemented participants. When test scores were evaluated as a whole, a significant improvement occurred only in supplemented subjects. Improvement was noted in both supplemented APOE4 carriers and noncarriers; however, the benefit was greater in those positive for APOE4.
Mechanisms for EPA and DHA in maintaining cognitive function are well known, and include the fatty acids’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, although omega-3 fatty acids have an antioxidant effect, they are also subject to lipid peroxidation, therefore, combining them with compounds that have antioxidant properties such as lycopene could improve their benefits.
“When just one of these agents or nutrients is used by an elderly person, its effect on cognitive function is not enough to prevent aging decline, at least not with the usual dosage in human trial studies,” the authors remark. “When these agents or nutrients are used in combination, they may cover the vulnerability of other agents and synergistically potentiate their respective antioxidant properties, which might then be effective for the improvement of cognitive function. Additionally, this may decrease the oxidative stress associated with the E4 allele and improve cognitive function among APOE4 carriers.”