Saturday, November 21, 2009

12. ADHD and Fatty Acid Deficiencies

The incidence of symptoms associated with deficiencies in fatty acids, such as dry hair and skin, excessive thirst and frequent urination, has been observed to be higher in ADHD children as compared with the general population [33]. It has been proposed by many researchers that ADHD children are deficient in essential fatty acids, and omega-3 fat supplements are often prescribed as part of their treatment program [29].

A study involving 96 boys from schools in Indiana, 53 of which had been diagnosed with ADHD, looked at the concentrations of fatty acids found in blood plasma [4]. It was determined that the ADHD children as a group had significantly lower amounts of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6 fats) in their blood than did the controls. Furthermore, among the ADHD group, the 21 subjects who also manifested many symptoms of essential fatty acid deficiency had further depleted serum levels than the other 32 subjects with ADHD.

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