A case series on the potential effect of omega-3-fatty acid supplementation on 24-h heart rate variability and its circadian variation in children with attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder

Atten Defic Hyperact Disord. 2018 Jun;10(2):135-139. doi: 10.1007/s12402-017-0240-y. Epub 2017 Oct 3.


Attention deficit disorder with and without hyperactivity (ADHD) in children is associated with decreased 24-h heart rate variability (HRV). Previous research has shown that supplementation of omega-3-fatty acid increases HRV. Here, we aimed to investigate whether the supplementation of omega-3-fatty acids would increase 24-h HRV in an uncontrolled case series of children with ADHD. HRV was recorded in 18 children and adolescents (age 13.35 ± 2.8 years) before and after omega-3 supplementation. Preliminary results indicate that omega-3 supplementation in children with AD(H)D may reduce mean heart rate and increase its variability. Future studies would do well to implement randomized, placebo-controlled designs with greater methodological rigor.

Keywords: ADHD; Circadian variation; Heart rate variability; Omega-3; Vagal activity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diet therapy*
  • Circadian Rhythm / drug effects*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3