There has been a large trend in the past few decades of trying to find natural, food and herb based solutions to the things that ail us. As ADHD continues to be an issue for many children and adults, the ability to find treatment or relief for people that is based in food or lifestyle changes instead of pharmaceuticals is a priority. One herbal relief method, Omega 3 oils found in fish oil, has shown some promising effects when it comes to ADHD and other mental health related issues. Here is some of the research and dosage considerations when taking Omega 3 for diagnosed ADHD.
What is ADHD
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. It is diagnosed by an inability to pay attention or sit still, and displaying behavior that is below your age's general maturity level in outbursts. Children with ADHD display these symptoms beginning in early school years, typically, and must display them for six months or longer in order to secure a diagnosis. All children may show regressive behavior for a shorter transition period, particularly during times of high stress, like divorce, death in the family, and moving homes.
Studies on Fish Oil as ADHD Treatment
Fish oil has been recommended as a nutritional supplement when it comes to dealing with ADHD, as well as symptoms that are similar but do not constitute a full diagnosis. It has been shown to help anxiety and depression, improve focus, and strengthen neural connections and the building of nerve cells and neural connections. Adding fish oil to the diet, either in the form of high Omega 3 foods or as a separate supplement can help to mitigate ADHD symptoms. In some cases, it can be used in place of pharmaceuticals, particularly when it is accompanied by lifestyle changes that promote successful behavior in an ADHD child or adult. In other cases, it can make medication even more effective when used in tandem.
Finding Quality Fish Oil
Fish oil is not all created alike, and it is important to research the source of the supplement when taking it. Low quality fish oils may contain methyl mercury, PCBs or other heavy metals. High heavy metal concentrations will accumulate in fatty tissue, including brain cells, and can lead to clouded thinking which exacerbates the problem of ADHD. Look for wild-caught fish oil, not farmed. If you have digestive issues with one brand, try another brand that works with a different species of fish or with krill. Some pills will also come with special coatings so that they only break down in the intestines, saving you from fishy burps.
Though it's hard to overdose on fish oil when consumed in food like salmon and tuna, you can overdose with pills. For ADHD, start with the lowest recommended dose on the bottle (there is typically a dosage range). Move up or down based on how effectively the oil manages your symptoms. Give yourself a month, and decide whether this is adequate treatment or if you need to combine fish oil with other things to manage your ADHD.