A new study in Nutrition Journal finds that young people with ADHD have a noticeably different amount of fatty acids in their cells.
When you examine the red blood cells of kids with ADHD, there are some striking differences compared with cells from others. In general, you’ll find a higher ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3s. The cells of the kids with ADHD are also quite low in DHA, a specific omega-3 fatty acid that is closely linked with healthy brain development. It seems that low omega-3 levels are directly related with behavioral symptoms.
The findings suggest that both groups consumed about the same amount of omega -3 and omega-6 fats. In other words, the difference in the cells doesn’t seem to be due to differences in what was eaten. Instead, it appears that those with ADHD metabolize the fats differently.
Even though diet may not be the cause, it may still play a role in the treatment. A diet that is higher than normal in omega-3 fats might help with the issue. Foods that are naturally high in omega-3 fats (salmon, mackerel, flax seed) may be a hard for the typical teenager to swallow. So try products such as omega-3 fortified eggs, peanut butter, and cereal.