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Omega-3 fatty acid and ADHD: blood level analysis and meta-analytic extension of supplementation trials.
Clin Psychol Rev 2014; 34(6):496-505CP

Abstract

Interest in the value of omega-3 (n-3) fatty acid supplementation for treatment of ADHD remains high. No prior meta-analysis has examined whether ADHD is associated with alterations in blood lipid levels and meta-analyses of supplementation have reached conflicting conclusions.

METHODS

We report two new meta-analyses. Study 1 examined blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids in relation to ADHD. Study 2 examined a larger sample of randomized intervention trials than previously reported.

RESULTS

Study 1 included 9 studies (n=586) and found lower overall blood levels of n-3 in individuals with ADHD versus controls (g=0.42, 95% CI=0.26-0.59; p<.001). Study 2 included 16 studies (n=1408) and found that n-3 supplementation improved ADHD composite symptoms; using the best available rating and reporter (g=0.26, 95% CI=0.15-0.37; p<.001). Supplementation showed reliable effects on hyperactivity by parent and teacher report, but reliable effects for inattention only by parent report.

CONCLUSIONS

Omega-3 levels are reduced in children with ADHD. Dietary supplementation appears to create modest improvements in symptoms. There is sufficient evidence to consider omega-3 fatty acids as a possible supplement to established therapies. However it remains unclear whether such intervention should be confined to children with below normal blood levels.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, United States.Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, United States; Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, United States. Electronic address: niggj@ohsu.edu.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25181335

Citation

Hawkey, Elizabeth, and Joel T. Nigg. "Omega-3 Fatty Acid and ADHD: Blood Level Analysis and Meta-analytic Extension of Supplementation Trials." Clinical Psychology Review, vol. 34, no. 6, 2014, pp. 496-505.
Hawkey E, Nigg JT. Omega-3 fatty acid and ADHD: blood level analysis and meta-analytic extension of supplementation trials. Clin Psychol Rev. 2014;34(6):496-505.
Hawkey, E., & Nigg, J. T. (2014). Omega-3 fatty acid and ADHD: blood level analysis and meta-analytic extension of supplementation trials. Clinical Psychology Review, 34(6), pp. 496-505. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2014.05.005.
Hawkey E, Nigg JT. Omega-3 Fatty Acid and ADHD: Blood Level Analysis and Meta-analytic Extension of Supplementation Trials. Clin Psychol Rev. 2014;34(6):496-505. PubMed PMID: 25181335.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Omega-3 fatty acid and ADHD: blood level analysis and meta-analytic extension of supplementation trials. AU - Hawkey,Elizabeth, AU - Nigg,Joel T, Y1 - 2014/06/02/ PY - 2014/01/23/received PY - 2014/05/06/revised PY - 2014/05/18/accepted PY - 2014/9/3/entrez PY - 2014/9/3/pubmed PY - 2015/5/16/medline KW - ADHD KW - Intervention KW - Meta-analysis KW - Omega−3 KW - Polyunsaturated fatty acids KW - Supplementation SP - 496 EP - 505 JF - Clinical psychology review JO - Clin Psychol Rev VL - 34 IS - 6 N2 - UNLABELLED: Interest in the value of omega-3 (n-3) fatty acid supplementation for treatment of ADHD remains high. No prior meta-analysis has examined whether ADHD is associated with alterations in blood lipid levels and meta-analyses of supplementation have reached conflicting conclusions. METHODS: We report two new meta-analyses. Study 1 examined blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids in relation to ADHD. Study 2 examined a larger sample of randomized intervention trials than previously reported. RESULTS: Study 1 included 9 studies (n=586) and found lower overall blood levels of n-3 in individuals with ADHD versus controls (g=0.42, 95% CI=0.26-0.59; p<.001). Study 2 included 16 studies (n=1408) and found that n-3 supplementation improved ADHD composite symptoms; using the best available rating and reporter (g=0.26, 95% CI=0.15-0.37; p<.001). Supplementation showed reliable effects on hyperactivity by parent and teacher report, but reliable effects for inattention only by parent report. CONCLUSIONS: Omega-3 levels are reduced in children with ADHD. Dietary supplementation appears to create modest improvements in symptoms. There is sufficient evidence to consider omega-3 fatty acids as a possible supplement to established therapies. However it remains unclear whether such intervention should be confined to children with below normal blood levels. SN - 1873-7811 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25181335/full_citation L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0272-7358(14)00074-9 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -