Effects of an open-label pilot study with high-dose EPA/DHA concentrates on plasma phospholipids and behavior in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Nutr J. 2007 Jul 13;6:16. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-6-16.

Abstract

Background: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurological condition in children. This pilot study evaluated the effects of high-dose eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation on the isolated plasma phospholipids and behavior in children with ADHD (primarily inattentive subtype and combined subtype).

Methods: Nine children were initially supplemented with 16.2 g EPA/DHA concentrates per day. The dosage was adjusted dependent on the ratio of arachidonic acid (AA) to EPA in the isolated plasma phospholipids at four weeks to reach a level normally found in the Japanese population.

Results: At the end of the eight-week study, supplementation resulted in significant increases in EPA and DHA, as well as a significant reduction in the AA:EPA ratio (20.78 +/- 5.26 to 5.95 +/- 7.35, p < 0.01). A psychiatrist (blind to supplement compliance or dosage modifications) reported significant improvements in behavior (inattention, hyperactivity, oppositional/defiant behavior, and conduct disorder). There was also a significant correlation between the reduction in the AA:EPA ratio and global severity of illness scores.

Conclusion: The findings of this small pilot study suggest supplementation with high-dose EPA/DHA concentrates may improve behavior in children with ADHD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / blood
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / pathology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / drug effects*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / pharmacology
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / pharmacology
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phospholipids / blood*
  • Phospholipids / chemistry
  • Pilot Projects
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Phospholipids
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid