[Nutritional aspects of attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder]

Rev Neurol. 2009 Sep;49(6):307-12.
[Article in Spanish]


Introduction: Attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD) has received in the past years a lot of attention from the paediatrician's specialties. Even though the studies of its etiopathology have advanced, mainly the ones related with genetics and neuroimaging, the final cause today is still unclear.

Development: It has been related to many factors such as diet, like some allergies to additives, toxicity to heavy metals and other toxic substances from the environment, due to low protein diets with a high carbohydrate content, unbalanced minerals, essential fatty acids and phospholipid deficit, amino acid deficits, thyroid disorders, and vitamin B complex disorders and phytochemicals. The way our lifestyle has changed in general and the diet in particular nowadays is being considered as a hypothesis for many disorders and health problems, but what about ADHD? One of the changes that we want to emphasize is related to vegetable fat and oils that dominate human consumption and the reduction income of fatty acids from the omega-3 family, including alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosapentaenoic acid. The fact is even worse when the amount of omega-6 increases and the ratio between both changes.

Conclusions: It is a fact that these kinds of nutrients play an important role in the nervous system development. In this paper the essential fatty acids in neuropsychiatric disorders in general, ADHD in particular, is reviewed.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / etiology*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy
  • Child
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Fatty Acids, Essential / deficiency
  • Fatty Acids, Essential / physiology
  • Humans


  • Fatty Acids, Essential