Usage of Fish Oil for Treating ADHD

Updated on April 22nd, 2020
Fish Oil ADHD

You surely must have heard of fish oil, a common dietary supplement which has the capacity of sharpening focus alongside calming hyperactivity amongst some children and adults diagnosed with ADHD.

Researchers have been actively engaged in exploring the benefits of fish oil and its supplements and the experiments are still on. So far, several benefits have been observed and some of them will be focused upon in this article.

Did You Know?

  • About 5.9 million children are diagnosed with ADHD in California(1) alone.
  • Studies reveal that taking a fish oil capsule on a regular basis can curb ADHD symptoms, with or without medication.
  • Fish oil supplements may cause improvement in the mental skills of children diagnosed with the disorder (aged 8-12 years).

An Overview of Fish Oil Supplements

fish oil

Fish oil is the fat or oil, which is extracted from the fish tissue and is considered one of the most commonly consumed dietary supplement. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for human health, doctors often recommend patients to have fish oil supplements that have proven benefits.

One who does not eat oily fish (i.e. salmon, sardine, herring, tuna, mackerel, etc.); can go for the fish oil supplement regularly, and experience inevitable health improvements.

[ Also Read: Natural Remedies to Treat ADHD ]

World Health Organization Recommends Fish Oil

The World Health Organization (WHO) has strongly recommended eating a portion or two of fish on a weekly basis because the omega-3 fatty acids in fish tend to provide several health benefits inclusive of protection against a handful of diseases.

In case of not having 1-2 servings of fish per week, one may consume fish oil supplements to get enough omega-3 fatty acids. Some studies reveal that people with certain psychological disorders tend to have lower omega-3 levels, which can be easily cured by the regular intake of fish oil supplements.

[Also Read: CBD Oil for ADHD]

Fish Oil for ADHD: Does It Work?

Image: ShutterStock

ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a common ailment which may affect both children and adults, but more often it is prevalent amongst children. Symptoms of ADHD mostly initiate during childhood phase and those are—difficulty in concentrating, difficulty in sitting still for a long time, being forgetful, getting distracted more easily, etc.

Human Brain is Made up of 60% Fat: It has been studied that fish oil for ADHD is significant because fish oil can be used as a method for improving symptoms of ADHD on account of it containing 2 important omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 PUFAs) i.e. eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)(2).

Studies reveal that both EPA and DHA are heavily concentrated in brain which tends to contribute towards the protection of neurons. The human brain is made up of nearly 60% fat much of which are omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega 3 PUFA for Human Brains: Omega-3 PUFAs are again the quintessential nutrients for normal brain development and functioning. Studies have showcased that individuals with ADHD often have lower amounts of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in their blood which may certainly be cured by means of taking fish oil supplements.

As individuals cannot produce omega-3 PUFAs in the body, those can be gained by means of fish oil supplements in the form of liquid or pills or capsules.

As far as fish oil for ADHD dosage is concerned, it can be said that daily supplement of 500 mg of omega-3s is generally prescribed for children aged 4-6 years; whereas children aged 7 years and more may take 1000 mg fish oil for ADHD dosage (having equal amounts of DHA and EPA) on a regular basis.

Although the research on the benefits of fish oil supplements is still on; the fact that taking fish oil supplements can cause improvement in the ADHD symptoms has been widely supported by researchers.

Studies reveal that the fish oil supplements have the potential of improving perceived hyperactivity, impulsiveness, inattention and aggression among children.

[Also Read: Health Benefits of Tuna Fish]

Benefits of Fish Oil Supplements

  • Heart health is improved as risks associated with heart disease are reduced
  • Increased Levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol
  • Triglycerides are lowered significantly
  • Reduces blood pressure and liver fat
  • reduce inflammation and support healthy skin
  • May aid weight loss
  • Useful for improving eye health
  • Symptoms of depression may improve

Side-Effects of Fish Oil

Fish Oil

Although fish oil for ADHD is largely considered as a means of improving health disorders without experiencing as many side effects, increasing the dosage of omega-3s may increase the risk of bleeding and can even suppress the immune system.

Moreover, fish oil may cause bad breath(3) or even nausea or digestion issues in some. You may consider consulting a doctor before taking fish oil supplements to avoid side-effects.

It can be concluded that fish oil has several benefits and curbs the symptoms of ADHD. Connections between appropriate intake of omega-3s and good health have long been established and researchers are finding ways to add more benefits to its credit.

Although the fish oil for ADHD dosage may vary from person to person, fish oil supplements should be recommended in consideration of the ratio of EPA to DHA and the health condition of the patient.

Getting used to dietary supplements is not unnatural but one must always prioritize taking up natural ingredients for good health before resorting to supplements. Fish oil for ADHD is one such ingredient that you should intake along with counseling and medicines.

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