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Animal Study Finds That Omega-3 Supplements Reduce ADHD Symptoms

August 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A Norwegian study in young rats with hyperactivity, poor ability to concentrate and impulsiveness – all symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in humans – has found that the intake of omega-3 fatty acids led to a decline in the symptoms. The rats were given omega-3 supplements while in the womb and from the earliest stages of life. Monitoring of the animals found substantial differences in the behavior of those given the omega-3 supplements as fetuses and as baby rats and those that had not. Male rats showed improved ability to concentrate, while all of the omega-3 rats showed reduced hyperactivity. The researchers cautioned that these findings might not translate to human beings for a variety of reasons.
Kine S Dervola et al., "Marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids induce sex-specific changes in reinforcer-controlled behavior and neurotransmitter metabolism in a spontaneously hypertensive rat model of ADHD", Behavioral and Brain Functions, August 23, 2013, © Dervola et al.
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