DHA Improves Literacy in Children With ADHD

Researchers from the University of South Australia have examined the effects of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA versus omega-6-rich safflower oil (control) on literacy and behaviour in children with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The supplements were randomly allocated to 90 children, aged 7-12 years, with ADHD symptoms higher than the 90th percentile on the Conners Rating Scales.

After four months of treatment, the researchers found that increasing the proportion of DHA in the erythrocyte fatty acid profile improved reading and reduced parent ratings of oppositional behaviour.

The effects were more evident in a subgroup of children with learning difficulties.

These children showed improved spelling and ability to divide attention. Their parents reported reduced hyperactivity and restlessness.