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ADHD Assessment & Treatment Centres

Fish oils & ADHD: A Review

A study by Change published in February 2018, conducted a review of Omega-3 fish oils and its ability to help treat ADHD. The role of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the pathogenesis and treatment of children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is unclear. A systematic review followed by meta-analysis was conducted on: (1) randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effects of Omega-3 on clinical symptoms and cognition in children and adolescent with ADHD; and (2) case-control studies assessing the levels of Omega-3 in blood and buccal tissues of children and adolescents with ADHD. In seven RCTs, totalling n=534 randomized youth with ADHD, Omega-3 supplementation improves ADHD clinical symptom scores; and in three RCTs, totalling n=214 randomized youth with ADHD, Omega-3 supplementation improves cognitive measures associated with attention. Moreover, children and adolescents with ADHD have lower levels of DHA (seven studies), EPA (seven studies), and total Omega-3 (six studies). In summary, there is evidence that Omega-3 supplementation monotherapy improves clinical symptoms and cognitive performances in children and adolescents with ADHD, and that these youth have a deficiency in Omega-3 levels. Our findings provide further support to the rationale for using Omega-3 as a treatment option for ADHD.


Chang, J. P., Su, K., Mondelli, V., & Pariante, C. M. (2018). Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in youths with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials and biological studies.Neuropsychopharmacology, 43(3), 534-545. doi: