EFAs to Reduce Hyperactivity
Essential Fatty Acids in Hyperactivity Diet
Research shows that many children with ADD/ADHD have a deficiency of essential fatty acids (EFAs). Exactly why hyperactive children have this EFA deficiency is unclear.
Main Essential Fatty Acids
The most important omega-3 essential fat is ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), from which the body manufactures other omega-3 fats like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is very beneficial for the brain. The best food source of ALA is flaxseed and flaxseed oil (linseed), while oily fish (or cod liver oil) is a rich source of EPA and DHA. Lastly, it's worth noting that to convert ALA to DHA we need an adequate intake of vitamins C, B6, B3, as well as zinc and magnesium.
Low Level of Essential Fatty Acids in Hyperactive Patients
Research studies show that some physical symptoms in ADD/ADHD children are like those observed in EFA-deficiency. For example, in one study, subjects with lower levels of total omega-3 fatty acids exhibited significantly more behavioral problems, and sleep problems than did those with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Another study found that 50+ subjects with ADHD had significantly lower concentrations of essential fatty acids than the control subjects.
Dietary Supplements Containing EFAs
Omega-3 oils are widely available in capsule form. In addition, a new supplement (Coromega) has been developed by European Reference Botanical Laboratories, Inc. (ERBL). The new product is much tastier and is packaged in an easy-to-use foil packet and contains a convenient daily dose of omega-3.
Information About Dietary Treatment of ADD/ADHD
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