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Low Omega-3s Linked to Children with ADHD and Learning Difficulties

In this newly published study, the researchers compared levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in red blood cells in children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with learning difficulties (LD) and those without LD.

The results support emerging indications that LD children with ADHD may be responsive to omega-3 fatty acids supplementation. ADHD children provided blood samples and underwent cognitive assessments and parents completed questionnaires and Conners' Rating Scales.

Students with higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids EPA/DHA reported less anxiety and better word recall compared to children with higher omega-6 levels, who had measurable attention deficits that correlated to lower reading and spelling levels. 36% of the children with learning difficulties had lower DHA levels than those without LD.

Researchers conclude that suboptimal omega-3 levels may contribute to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related developmental problems.

Source: Polyunsaturated fatty acids, cognition and literacy in children with ADHD with and without learning difficulties

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  1. I don't believe ADHD exists: it was created by the PHARMA industry from children being high on sugar and malnourished. I do think that Omega 3s are extremely helpful though.

  2. That's a false belief, Frank.

    If you want to argue about overdiagnosis of ADHD, that's another issue.
    On the other hand, increasing ADHD is not surprising considering everything in our culture that children are surrounded by from TV (commercials, Spongebob square parents) to nutritionally deplete and empty, toxic food and drinks in abundance by the corporate government of America.

  3. To throw my two pennies into the discussion, I agree with "Anonymous." I do believe ADHD is an actual "condition," but also believe that it's WAY over-diagnosed.

    I also believe that watching TV, eating crap (artificial colours, preservatives, etc.) and many other avoidable factors lead to what people think of as ADHD, but really just simple and transient hyperactivity and inattentiveness.

    Then there is also the issue of whether true ADHD is something that needs to be addressed at all. In our neat little society where kids are expected to act and behave like little adults, it's easy to think these kids are wild and need to be tamed.

    Maybe it's not so much a problem with the kids, but our society. Why are kids locked up in a room for 6 hours a day, sitting and reading, etc. They should be outside and playing. That's how kids learn -- through play and interaction with the real world, not by listening to a teacher in front of a chalk-board, or with their heads buried in a book.

    ...but that's a whole different discussion, and would require a total paradigm shift.

    TED has some great videos on this if you've ever watched them. Highly recommended.


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