Fatty acids in ADHD: plasma profiles in a placebo-controlled study of Omega 3/6 fatty acids in children and adolescents
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The aim of this study was to assess baseline levels and changes in plasma fatty acid profiles in children and adolescents with ADHD, in a placebo-controlled study with Omega 3/6 supplementation, and to compare with treatment response. Seventy-five children and adolescents aged 8–18 years with DSM-IV ADHD were randomized to 3 months of Omega 3/6 (Equazen eye q) or placebo, followed by 3 months of open phase Omega 3/6 for all. n-3, n-6, n-6/n-3 ratio, EPA and DHA in plasma were measured at baseline, 3 and 6 months. Subjects with more than 25 % reduction in ADHD symptoms were classified as responders. At baseline, no significant differences in mean fatty acid levels were seen across active/placebo groups or responder/non-responder groups. The 0–3 month changes in all parameters were significantly greater in the active group (p < 0.01). Compared to non-responders, the 6-month responders had significantly greater n-3 increase at 3 months and decrease in n-6/n-3 ratio at 3 and 6 months (p < 0.05). Omega 3/6 supplementation had a clear impact on fatty acid composition of plasma phosphatidyl choline in active versus placebo group, and the fatty acid changes appear to be associated with treatment response. The most pronounced and long-lasting changes for treatment responders compared to non-responders were in the n-6/n-3 ratio.
KeywordsEssential fatty acids Omega 3/6 Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Plasma fatty acids Eicosapentaenoic acid Docosahexaenoic acid
The study was supported by grants from Equazen/Vifor Pharma, Wilhelm and Martina Lundgrens Vetenskapsfond and by the Swedish MRC (grant no 2,006–3,449). Funders have not been involved in study design, data collection or analysis, manuscript preparation or publication decisions. Preliminary results were reported as poster and oral presentation at the 3rd International Congress on ADHD, Berlin, Germany, May 26–29, 2011. Dr. Johnson has received honoraria from Vifor Pharma for Advisory Board participation and lectures.
Conflict of interest
All other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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