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Supplementation with high-content docosahexaenoic acid triglyceride in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial

Authors Rodríguez C, García T, Areces D, Fernández E, García-Noriega M, Domingo JC

Received 19 February 2019

Accepted for publication 11 April 2019

Published 8 May 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 1193—1209

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S206020

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Melinda Thomas

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Celestino Rodríguez,1 Trinidad García,1 Débora Areces,1,2 Estrella Fernández,1 Marcelino García-Noriega,3 Joan Carles Domingo4

1Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain; 2Child Education Program, Faculty Padre Ossó, Oviedo, Spain; 3Service of Pediatrics, Hospital Valle del Nalón, Langreo, Spain; 4Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biomedicine, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Background: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex disorder in terms of etiology, clinical presentation, and treatment outcome. Pharmacological and psychological interventions are recommended as primary treatments in ADHD; however, other nonpharmacological intervention such as a dietary supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) has emerged as an attractive option.
Purpose: The objective of the present study was to assess whether dietary supplementation with highly concentrated ω-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) triglyceride may improve symptoms in ADHD.
Method: A 6-month prospective double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial was designed in 66 patients with ADHD, aged between 6 and 18 years. Participants in the experimental group received a combination of ω-3 fatty acids (DHA 1,000 mg, eicosapentaenoic acid 90 mg, and docosapentaenoic acid 150 mg). Instruments included d2-test, AULA Nesplora, EDAH scales, and abbreviated Conner’s Rating Scale.
Results: In the cognitive test, between-group differences were not found, but within-group differences were of a greater magnitude in the DHA group. Between-group differences in favor of the DHA arm were observed in behavioral measures, which were already detected after 3 months of treatment. Results were not changed when adjusted by ADHD medication.
Conclusions: This study provides further evidence of the beneficial effect of supplementation with ω-3 DHA in the management of ADHD.

Keywords: omega 3, PUFAs, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

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