New Research on Essential Fatty Acids, ADHD and Depression

Two new studies published in major medical journals evaluated the effects of essential fatty acids. The first of these studies (Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2002;26(2):233-9) looked at forty-one children diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia over a 12-week period. Some of the children received a place bo (olive oil), while others received a mix of essential fatty acids containing EPA, DHA and AA from fish oil, and GLA from evening primrose oil. At the end of the trial period, children treated with essential fatty acids experienced significant improvements while the children taking the olive oil did not improve at all. So are dyslexia and ADHD nothing other than symptoms of fatty acid deficiency? B. Jacqueline Stordy, Ph.D. makes a compelling case for this in her interesting book, The LCP Solution (ISBN 0-345-43872-8). The second study (Am J Psychiatry 2002;159(3):477-9) focused on twenty people diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Some of them received a placebo and others fish oil in addition to their antidepressant medication. In the words of the researchers “highly significant benefits of the addition of the omega-3 fatty acid (fish oil) compared with placebo were found by week three of treatment”.

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