How much fish oil should my eight-year-old son be getting daily in order to manage his ADHD symptoms? I can’t find any information on this.
by Sandy Newmark, M.D.
We have not determined exact dosages for kids. The studies done on omega-3s for ADHD have used a wide range of doses. I base my dosage on the total amounts of EPA and DHA in the fish oil product. You can almost always find this listed in the ingredients section. For younger children, between four and eight years old, I recommend a dose of 1,000-1,500 milligrams of EPA and DHA. (If a product has 750 mg. of EPA and 500 mg. of DHA, the total would be 1,250 mg.) For older children, I recommend 2,000-2,500 milligrams.
Consider the ratio of EPA to DHA when buying a product. I recommend using a product with about twice as much EPA as DHA. I do not recommend using a product containing only DHA or EPA. Studies indicate that it is important for patients to have both.
Liquid or capsule forms of omega-3 fatty acids are best. The gummy and chewable versions have lower amounts of EPA and DHA. Your child would have to take too many of them to reach the recommended dosage.