If you are a parent who is looking for natural ways to help your child with ADHD improve their focus, several options are now at your fingertips. Over the last decade, several clinical trials and more recently in August of this year, a Meta-Analysis of these trials published in the Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, has shown promising results when it comes to omega 3 fats and healthy brain function.

We already knew that this particular fat is a powerhouse, with nutrients that help prevent heart disease and other health concerns. Now researchers are saying that these same omega-3 fatty acids also optimize brain function, and can be especially helpful for children with ADHD. Reason being that among other benefits, omega-3s boost the body’s synthesis of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that attention deficit disorder (ADHD) medications act to increase.

Obtaining enough healthy fats in the diet plays a significant role in brain development and function. While we don’t know all of the ways that Omega 3s combat inflammation, there is evidence that the correct balance of these fats is essential. In our practice, we have seen that symptoms of ADHD can be triggered by ongoing inflammation that can be caused by one or several things—food allergies or sensitivities, bacterial overgrowth, viruses, and causes unique to the individual. Omega 3 fats come in to reduce that ongoing fire by producing molecules that help to resolve the inflammation. You may have heard them referred to as resolvins or protectins!

We not only want to ensure your child is getting these fats in their diet, we need to know if they are digesting them and absorbing them well, and aim to created tailored plans to ensure this happens. Our goal is to remove the source of the inflammation and give the body the nutrition it needs to stop the inflammation in its tracks!

Most pre-teens and adolescents will benefit from around 1000mg of a quality DHA/EPA supplement daily, and some require higher dosing. Of course, we always like to start with food. Quality sources of the healthy Omega 3 fats include wild caught salmon, tuna, walnut, flax, and chia seeds. Work to reduce the amount of Omega 6 from industrial seed oils such as soybean, canola, peanut oil, and sunflower seed oil in your child’s diet.

When evaluating which supplements are best for your child, it is important to work with a provider who will look into which nutrients may be deficient in your child’s diet– and create a customized plan to keep them on track. We are here to support you in this process!

Stephanie Finn is a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Registered Nurse at the CentreSpring MD. She is dedicated to providing compassionate and holistic healthcare and promoting pediatric wellness.

Email appointments@centrespringmd.com to schedule a visit with Stephanie Finn.

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Categories: Brain