Effects of an open-label pilot study with high-dose EPA/DHA concentrates on plasma phospholipids and behavior in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Nutrition Journal 2007, 6:16 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-6-16 Paul J Sorgi (firstname.lastname@example.org) Edward M Hallowell (email@example.com) Heather L Hutchins (firstname.lastname@example.org) Barry Sears (email@example.com) Background: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurological condition in children. This pilot study evaluated the effects of high-dose eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation on the isolated plasma phospholipids and behavior in children with ADHD (primarily inattentive subtype and combined subtype). Methods: Nine children were initially supplemented with 16.2g EPA/DHA concentrates per day. The dosage was adjusted dependent on the ratio of arachidonic acid (AA) to EPA in the isolated plasma phospholipids at four weeks to reach a level normally found in the Japanese population. Results: At the end of the eight-week study, supplementation resulted in significant increases in EPA and DHA, as well as a significant reduction in the AA:EPA ratio (20.78±5.26 to 5.95±7.35, p<0.01). A psychiatrist (blind to supplement compliance or dosage modifications)reported significant improvements in behavior (inattention, hyperactivity, oppositional/defiant behavior, and conduct disorder). There was also a significant correlation between the reduction in the AA:EPA ratio and global severity of illness scores. Conclusions: The findings of this small pilot study suggest supplementation with high-dose EPA/DHA concentrates may improve behavior in children with ADHD.