Eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, cognition, and behavior in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A randomized controlled trial

Milte, Catherine M. and Parletta, Natalie and Buckley, Jonathan D. and Coates, Alison M. and Young, Ross M. and Howe, Peter R. C. (2012) Eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, cognition, and behavior in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Nutrition, 28 (6). pp. 670-677. ISSN 0899-9007

Abstract

Objective: To determine the effects of an eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)-rich oil and a docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-rich oil versus an ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid-rich safflower oil (control) on literacy and behavior in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a randomized controlled trial. Methods: Supplements rich in EPA, DHA, or safflower oil were randomly allocated for 4 mo to 90 Australian children 7 to 12 y old with ADHD symptoms higher than the 90th percentile on the Conners Rating Scales. The effect of supplementation on cognition, literacy, and parent-rated behavior was assessed by linear mixed modeling. Pearson correlations determined associations between the changes in outcome measurements and the erythrocyte fatty acid content (percentage of total) from baseline to 4 mo. Results: There were no significant differences between the supplement groups in the primary outcomes after 4 mo. However, the erythrocyte fatty acid profiles indicated that an increased proportion of DHA was associated with improved word reading (r = 0.394) and lower parent ratings of oppositional behavior (r = 0.392). These effects were more evident in a subgroup of 17 children with learning difficulties: an increased erythrocyte DHA was associated with improved word reading (r = 0.683), improved spelling (r = 0.556), an improved ability to divide attention (r = 0.676), and lower parent ratings of oppositional behavior (r = 0.777), hyperactivity (r = 0.702), restlessness (r = 0.705), and overall ADHD symptoms (r = 0.665). Conclusion: Increases in erythrocyte ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, specifically DHA, may improve literacy and behavior in children with ADHD. The greatest benefit may be observed in children who have comorbid learning difficulties.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2017 06:54
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2017 06:54
Uncontrolled Keywords: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; Children; Docosahexaenoic acid; Eicosapentaenoic acid; Learning difficulties; ω-3 Fatty acids
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics > 111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.nut.2011.12.009
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/31608

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