Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Posted on October 8, 2013 by Daniel G. Amen, MD

If you read our newsletter on a regular basis, you know how much I believe in omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for supporting learning, memory, and mood.

A while back, we presented the findings of the DOLAB study, showing that 600 mg of omega-3 supplementation daily (from algal oil) significantly improved reading scores and ADHD-type behavioral symptoms in a group of children, age 7-9 years, who were below average in their reading abilities.

New preliminary data from that same study, summarized in this article, has further linked omega-3, and particularly DHA, to sleep quality and behavior in children.

Professor Paul Montgomery from the University of Oxford recently explained how data from one part of the DOLAB Study establishes a connection between DHA levels in the blood and decreased sleep quality along with increased risk of sleep disorders.

“This was highly significant”, said Montgomery. He went on to state just how ‘striking’ it was that so many children in the study had both signs and symptoms of sleep disorders along with lower levels of DHA in their blood.

This is absolutely wonderful news, as it further compounds our belief in omega-3 supplementation for children, particularly those who are struggling with ADD/ADHD. Many children and adults with ADD/ADHD experience difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep.

Sleep deprivation is directly connected to an increase in the frequency and severity of behavioral and mood issues in those with ADD/ADHD.

Although omega-3 supplementation has been clinically shown to benefit children in the areas of academic performance, work completion, agreeability, inattention, impulsivity, and aggressiveness, it’s important to be patient and give omega-3 fatty acid supplements some time to work.

In a study(13) from Sri Lanka, one-hundred 6-12 year old children who were resistant to treatment with Ritalin and behavior therapy for more than 6 months were given a combination of omega 3 & 6 fatty acids or placebo. Their outcome was measured at 3 and 6 months after treatment using a self-assessment checklist completed by the parents. After 3 months of treatment, there were some significant improvements as compared to placebo, yet after 6 months of treatment, statistically significant improvements were observed.

To learn more about natural ADD/ADHD therapies and how much omega-3 I suggest per age and brain type, pre-order my new book, Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program that Allows You to See and Heal the 7 Types of ADD.