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Can Fish Oil Cure ADHD?

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A recent study by researchers at the University of Oslo found that feeding fish oil to rats with ADHD actually reversed symptoms:

The results show a clear improvement in ADHD-related behaviour from supplements of omega-3 fatty acids...

What did the researchers actually find?

And, does this mean that kids and adults with ADHD should start taking fish oil?

If so, what kind?

Let's address these questions one at a time...

Study Results

The researchers used a special kind of rat calles a "Spontaneously Hyperactive Rat."

These rats are are hyperactive while they are young, and have a poor ability to concentrate. 

These rats are also impulsive.

These symptoms sound very much like those for ADHD. 

So it makes some sense to study vitamins for ADHD in these rats. 

Interestingly, these symptoms are manageable when rats are fed low doses of ADHD stimulants like Ritalin. 

In the experiment, SAR rats were fed omega-3 fish oils. The researchers found:

  • Rats given omega-3 fish oils managed to hold and improve their concentration enough to access their drinking water by pushing a button. 
  • Rats who did not receive omega-3 could not concentrate enough to access their water. 
  • The researchers also found that in the male rats, the omega-3 increased the release of dopamine and serotonin  which are important chemicals in the brain necessary for nerves to work properly. 

So this research is indeed very interesting. Hopefully, more studies will be done with these SAR rats. 

Should ADHD patients take fish oil?

This is a controversial question. 

The main reason is because there is very little evidence that fish oil improves ADHD. 

However, the proof that we do have is very compelling.

For example, in 2011, researchers found that omega-3 fatty acids, especially those with high levels of EPA, were effective in the treatment of ADHD. 

This effect was proportional to the EPA dose. 

In other words, the more EPA consumed, the better the response. 

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Now there is no guarantee that high-EPA fish oil products will "cure" or even improve ADHD symptoms. 

However, fish oil supplements are safe, inexpensive, and they have many other health benefits (such as reduced inflammation, improved eye site, and many others). 

So it's our belief that adults and kids with ADHD symptoms may benefit from a 3-6 month course of fish oil. 

It may not cure ADHD, but at minimum it may help improve concentration and relieve other ADHD symptoms. 

Which fish oil product should I take?

Yes, we're biased. But it's for a good reason!

We like the Quell line of fish oil products because of their purity and quality. 

Plus, a special fish oil for kids is also available. 

So don't hesitate.

If you or your child have been diagnosed with ADHD, start taking Quell. 

Give it 3-6 months to see if the symptoms improve. 

You have nothing to lose!