A case series on the potential effect of omega-3-fatty acid supplementation on 24-h heart rate variability and its circadian variation in children with attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder
Attention deficit disorder with and without hyperactivity (ADHD) in children is associated with decreased 24-h heart rate variability (HRV). Previous research has shown that supplementation of omega-3-fatty acid increases HRV. Here, we aimed to investigate whether the supplementation of omega-3-fatty acids would increase 24-h HRV in an uncontrolled case series of children with ADHD. HRV was recorded in 18 children and adolescents (age 13.35 ± 2.8 years) before and after omega-3 supplementation. Preliminary results indicate that omega-3 supplementation in children with AD(H)D may reduce mean heart rate and increase its variability. Future studies would do well to implement randomized, placebo-controlled designs with greater methodological rigor.
KeywordsHeart rate variability ADHD Vagal activity Circadian variation Omega-3
JK and MNJ are supported by a Physician-Scientist-Fellowship provided by the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg University.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflict of interest, real or perceived, to declare.
- Bos DJ, Oranje B, Veerhoek ES, Van Diepen RM, Weusten JM, Demmelmair H et al (2015) Reduced symptoms of inattention after dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in boys with and without attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Neuropsychopharmacol Off Publ Am Coll Neuropsychopharmacol 40:2298–2306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Chang J-C, Su K-P, Mondelli V, Pariante CM (2017) Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in youths with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials and biological studies. Neuropsychopharmacol Off Publ Am Coll Neuropsychopharmacol. doi: 10.1038/npp.2017.160 Google Scholar
- O’Keefe JH Jr, Abuissa H, Sastre A, Steinhaus DM, Harris WS (2006) Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on resting heart rate, heart rate recovery after exercise, and heart rate variability in men with healed myocardial infarctions and depressed ejection fractions. Am J Cardiol 97:1127–1130CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Sinn N, Milte CM, Street SJ, Buckley JD, Coates AM, Petkov J, Howe PRC (2012) Effects of n-3 fatty acids, EPA v. DHA, on depressive symptoms, quality of life, memory and executive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: a 6-month randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr 107:1682–1693CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology and the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology (1996) Heart rate variability: standards of measurement, physiological interpretation and clinical use. Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology and the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology. Circulation 93:1043–1065CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Widenhorn-Müller K, Schwanda S, Scholz E, Spitzer M, Bode H (2014) Effect of supplementation with long-chain ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on behavior and cognition in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a randomized placebo-controlled intervention trial. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 91:49–60CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Wulsin LR, Horn PS, Perry JL, Massaro J, D’Agostino R (2015): Autonomic imbalance as a predictor of metabolic risks, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and mortality autonomic imbalance predicts CVD, DM, mortality. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. jc20144123Google Scholar