Fatty Acid Differences in ADHD NOT due to Intake, Study Suggests

A study of adolescents with ADHD found the same abnormalities in fatty acid levels as those found in young children with the disorder, but also suggested that this is not due to intake differences.

Thursday February 28th - 10:00am

A study recently published in Nutrition Journal aimed to find out whether adolescents with ADHD maintained the same abnormalities in fatty acid profiles as younger children with the diagnosis. The researchers also studied the teens' diets, to look for fatty acid intake differences between those with ADHD and those without it.

Overall, the study showed that teens with ADHD had a higher intake of energy and fat than their non-ADHD peers. All of the participants in the study, those with and without ADHD, consumed the same amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Adolescents with ADHD, however, showed significantly lower levels of total omega-3 fatty acids, higher levels of omega-6, and a lower ratio of omega-3 to omega-6.

These results suggest that fatty acid abnormalities in children with ADHD are not due to intake differences, but to metabolic differences in how the body processes fatty acids. Thus, while a diet higher than average in fatty acids may benefit some children with ADHD, more research is needed to see if higher intake will actually make a difference in fatty acid profiles.

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