Omega-3/omega-6 fatty acids for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomized placebo-controlled trial in children and adolescents

J Atten Disord. 2009 Mar;12(5):394-401. doi: 10.1177/1087054708316261. Epub 2008 Apr 30.


Objective: The aim of the study was to assess omega 3/6 fatty acids (eye q) in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Method: The study included a randomized, 3-month, omega 3/6 placebo-controlled, one-way crossover trial with 75 children and adolescents (8-18 years), followed by 3 months with omega 3/6 for all. Investigator-rated ADHD Rating Scale-IV and Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale were outcome measures.

Results: A majority did not respond to omega 3/6 treatment. However, a subgroup of 26% responded with more than 25% reduction of ADHD symptoms and a drop of CGI scores to the near-normal range. After 6 months, 47% of all showed such improvement. Responders tended to have ADHD inattentive subtype and comorbid neurodevelopmental disorders.

Conclusion: A subgroup of children and adolescents with ADHD, characterized by inattention and associated neurodevelopmental disorders, treated with omega 3/6 fatty acids for 6 months responded with meaningful reduction of ADHD symptoms.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Autistic Disorder / drug therapy
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Dyslexia / diagnosis
  • Dyslexia / drug therapy
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6 / therapeutic use*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Learning Disabilities / drug therapy
  • Motor Skills Disorders / diagnosis
  • Motor Skills Disorders / drug therapy
  • Personality Assessment
  • Writing


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6