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Fatty acid status and behavioural symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adolescents: a case-control study.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Most studies of Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have focused on either young children or older adults. The current study compared 11 ADHD adolescents with 12 age-matched controls. The purpose was to examine differences in dietary intake, particularly of essential fatty acids, and determine whether this could explain the typical abnormalities in red blood cell fatty acids observed in previous studies of young children. A secondary purpose was to determine if there were relationships between circulating concentrations of essential fatty acids and specific ADHD behaviours as measured by the Conners' Parent Rating Scale (CPRS-L).

METHODS

Eleven ADHD adolescents and twelve age-matched controls were recruited through newspaper ads, posters and a university website. ADHD diagnosis was confirmed by medical practitioners according to DSM-IV criteria. Blood, dietary intake information as well as behavioural assessments were completed.

RESULTS

Results showed that ADHD adolescents consumed more energy and fat than controls but had similar anthropometry. ADHD children consumed equivalent amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to controls, however they had significantly lower levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) and total omega-3 fatty acids, higher omega-6 fatty acids and a lower ratio of n-3:n-6 fatty acids than control subjects. In addition, low omega-3 status correlated with higher scores on several Conners' behavioural scales.

CONCLUSION

These data suggest that adolescents with ADHD continue to display abnormal essential fatty acid profiles that are often observed in younger children and distinctly different from normal controls of similar age. Further these red blood cell fatty acid differences are not explained by differences in intake. This suggests that there are metabolic differences in fatty acid handling between ADHD adolescents and normal controls. The value of omega-3 supplements to improve fatty acid profiles and possibly behaviours associated with ADHD, need to be examined.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada. kmecklin@uoguelph.ca.

    ,

    Source

    Nutrition journal 7: 2008 Feb 14 pg 8

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adolescent Behavior
    Adolescent Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
    Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
    Case-Control Studies
    Child
    Erythrocytes
    Fatty Acids, Omega-3
    Female
    Humans
    Male
    Nutritional Status

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    18275609

    Citation

    Colter, Ashley L., et al. "Fatty Acid Status and Behavioural Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adolescents: a Case-control Study." Nutrition Journal, vol. 7, 2008, p. 8.
    Colter AL, Cutler C, Meckling KA. Fatty acid status and behavioural symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adolescents: a case-control study. Nutr J. 2008;7:8.
    Colter, A. L., Cutler, C., & Meckling, K. A. (2008). Fatty acid status and behavioural symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adolescents: a case-control study. Nutrition Journal, 7, p. 8. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-7-8.
    Colter AL, Cutler C, Meckling KA. Fatty Acid Status and Behavioural Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adolescents: a Case-control Study. Nutr J. 2008 Feb 14;7:8. PubMed PMID: 18275609.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Fatty acid status and behavioural symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adolescents: a case-control study. AU - Colter,Ashley L, AU - Cutler,Caroline, AU - Meckling,Kelly Anne, Y1 - 2008/02/14/ PY - 2007/07/23/received PY - 2008/02/14/accepted PY - 2008/2/16/pubmed PY - 2008/4/15/medline PY - 2008/2/16/entrez SP - 8 EP - 8 JF - Nutrition journal JO - Nutr J VL - 7 N2 - BACKGROUND: Most studies of Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have focused on either young children or older adults. The current study compared 11 ADHD adolescents with 12 age-matched controls. The purpose was to examine differences in dietary intake, particularly of essential fatty acids, and determine whether this could explain the typical abnormalities in red blood cell fatty acids observed in previous studies of young children. A secondary purpose was to determine if there were relationships between circulating concentrations of essential fatty acids and specific ADHD behaviours as measured by the Conners' Parent Rating Scale (CPRS-L). METHODS: Eleven ADHD adolescents and twelve age-matched controls were recruited through newspaper ads, posters and a university website. ADHD diagnosis was confirmed by medical practitioners according to DSM-IV criteria. Blood, dietary intake information as well as behavioural assessments were completed. RESULTS: Results showed that ADHD adolescents consumed more energy and fat than controls but had similar anthropometry. ADHD children consumed equivalent amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to controls, however they had significantly lower levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) and total omega-3 fatty acids, higher omega-6 fatty acids and a lower ratio of n-3:n-6 fatty acids than control subjects. In addition, low omega-3 status correlated with higher scores on several Conners' behavioural scales. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that adolescents with ADHD continue to display abnormal essential fatty acid profiles that are often observed in younger children and distinctly different from normal controls of similar age. Further these red blood cell fatty acid differences are not explained by differences in intake. This suggests that there are metabolic differences in fatty acid handling between ADHD adolescents and normal controls. The value of omega-3 supplements to improve fatty acid profiles and possibly behaviours associated with ADHD, need to be examined. SN - 1475-2891 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18275609/full_citation L2 - https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-7-8 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -