ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is one of the most common brain-health disorders of childhood. Right up there with too much TV and puberty – kidding! Things started getting interesting in 1996 when Purdue University researchers observed a link between low blood levels of omega-3s and phospholipids with behavior, learning and health problems in boys ages 6 to 12 years old.1
The association was duly noted in 2000, when Oxford researcher Alex Richardson proposed that the underlying problem was not just low levels in the body but also possibly related to problems children with ADHD may have with metabolism of fatty acids and phospholipids in cell walls. 2
Richardson tested this hypothesis in a “gold standard” study design: the double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled human clinical trial.3 This is where neither subjects nor doctors know who’s taking the fatty-acid supplement and who’s taking the placebo pill. They looked at 41 British children between the ages 8 and 12 who had ADHD, as well as dyslexia. Twelve weeks later, the group of kids taking the essential fatty acids experienced significant improvements in seven out of the 14 test scales, while the placebo group had no change.
Richardson continued her work and in 2005 again found similar results in children with developmental coordination disorder – improvements in reading, spelling and behavior after three months of taking omega-3 supplements. She concluded that EPA and DHA “appears to alleviate ADHD-related symptoms in at least some children, and one study of children also found benefits for academic achievement.”
Krill oil-ADHD studies
These preliminary studies set the stage for the first study using krill oil to address ADHD – in this case, adult ADHD. Adult ADHD is what happens when children with ADHD grow up. While the pharmaceutical stimulant Ritalin has its side effects, and coffee only gets you so far, studies are amassing showing the underlying problem may be partially related to omega-3s and phospholipids – the very same molecules that are part of krill oil’s unique attributes. A 2007 study sponsored by the International Organization of ADHD found that 500mg per day of krill oil for six months led to these impressive results:
60.2% improvement in concentration and working capacity
39.0% improvement in ability to focus
48.8% improvement in social skills
34.2% improvement in ability to manage money
50.0% improvement in planning skills
34.5% improvement in driving capacity and road safety skills
One of the study’s researchers, Leslie Rouder, said: “Omega-3sare one of the most important supplements in treating the ADD brain. I recommend fish oil to all of my clients and take NKO Krill oil every day myself.”
Disclaimer: The information provided in this krill oil forum is a public service of WellWise.org, and should not in any way substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional and is not intended to constitute personal medical advice.