ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We thank Professor Brian Reichman and the anonymous reviewers for their comments on various versions of the manuscript.
Essential fatty acids and attention-deficit–hyperactivity disorder: a systematic review
Article first published online: 22 JUN 2009
© The Authors. Journal compilation © Mac Keith Press 2009
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology
Volume 51, Issue 8, pages 580–592, August 2009
How to Cite
RAZ, R. and GABIS, L. (2009), Essential fatty acids and attention-deficit–hyperactivity disorder: a systematic review. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 51: 580–592. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2009.03351.x
- Issue published online: 14 JUL 2009
- Article first published online: 22 JUN 2009
- PUBLICATION DATA Accepted for publication 10th March 2009. Published online 22nd June 2009.
Aim Essential fatty acids (EFAs), also known as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, have been claimed to have beneficial effects as a treatment for attention-deficit–hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Animal experiments have provided information about the role of EFA in the brain, and several mechanisms of EFA activity are well known. The current review provides an updated, systematic overview of the theory and use of EFA in ADHD.
Method Clinical studies and review papers of EFA blood levels and EFA supplementation trials in children with ADHD were researched in the Medline PubMed database. Additional studies were found from the references of these reports.
Results Children with ADHD present lower levels of blood EFAs, and open-label EFA supplementation trials in ADHD raise EFA blood levels and improve symptoms of ADHD. Randomized controlled trials, however, have generally been unsuccessful in demonstrating any behavioural treatment effects.
Interpretation Current findings do not support the use of EFA supplements as a primary or supplementary treatment for children with ADHD.