Researchers reported last year that supplementation with essential fatty acids can dramatically accelerate learning and reduce behavior problems in children with developmental coordination disorder (see related article, Crime Times, 2005, Vol. 11, No. 3, Page 1). A newer study indicates that these nutrients can benefit children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well.
In the new study, Kalpana Joshi and colleagues used flax oil, which is high in the fatty acid alpha linolenic acid (ALA)—a precursor to the essential fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The researchers gave flax oil supplements to 30 children with ADHD along with supplemental vitamin C, which inhibits harmful fatty acid peroxidation. They report, "There was significant improvement in the symptoms of ADHD reflected by reduction in total hyperactivity scores of ADHD children derived from ADHD rating scales." The children's social functioning and learning improved, and they exhibited marked reductions in impulsivity, restlessness, inattention, self-control problems, and psychosomatic problems.
"Supplementation with flax oil and vitamin C improves the outcome of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)," Kalpana Joshi, Sagar Lad, Mrudula Kale, Bhushan Patwardhan, Sahebrao P. Mahadik, Bindu Patni, Arti Chaudhary, Sheila Bhave, and Anand Pandit, Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, November 25, 2005 (epub ahead of print publication). Address: Kalpana Joshi, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences (ISHS), University of Pune, Ganeshkhind, Pune-411007, Maharashtra, India, firstname.lastname@example.org.