Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common disorder among children and teens, but medications used to traditionally treat the condition do come with side effects and may not always work. We know that omega 3 fatty acids play an important role in brain development and research has suggested that low levels may contribute to ADHD and similar behavior disorders.
A 2012 study compared the effects of omega 3 fats EPA and DHA with an omega 6 rich fat(safflower oil) on reading ability and behavior of 90 children with ADHD. The children, aged 7-12, randomly received the omega 3 fats (EPA and DHA) or safflower oil for a period of four months. While there were no significant differences among the groups, the increased amount of omega 3 fats, in particular DHA, was associated with improved reading and behavior. Among 17 children with learning disabilities there were improvements in reading, spelling, behavior, attention, and hyperactivity.
The authors of the study conclude that increases in DHA may improve reading and behavior, especially in those children who also have learning difficulties.
Nutrition. 2012 Jun;28(6):670-7