ADD and Omega 3 Fish Oil

I am a naturopathic physician with nearly 20 years of experience developing breakthrough nutritional products.I also have extensive television and radio experience and have lectured widely to health professionals, the military and the public on all aspects of natural health.

Dr Myers, an expert who holds a doctorate in naturopathic medicine

Stephen Fry in my surgery during the making of the BBC TV program

Me with Lord Bragg, accepting my "Champion of the Year" award

After graduating, I was recognised as being the 'best young neurosurgeon in Britain'

When a child or adult suffers from ADD, their lives can seem insurmountably difficult. Not only are they unable to concentrate in their work or school time, but they can also become easily frustrated by their inability to keep up with their normal friends. They find themselves moving from one task to another without being able to complete things as well as their intelligence might suggest. While science has tried to create medications that can control this disruption in the brain’s chemistry, often these medications can cause more troubles than they are worth.

Defining ADD and ADHD

ADD or attention deficit disorder has become a sort of joke in society. When someone has troubles concentrating, they are referred to as ADD in a very negative sense. However, there are many children and adults that are truly suffering from this condition. Whether it’s a condition of their environment and inability to interact in this environment without certain skills or if it’s a condition in which the brain chemistry isn’t working well, ADD is a serious condition that is no laughing matter.

ADD occurs when the brain in unable to process the messages it receives from the outside environment. Often, the brain is working at too fast a speed to process the information easily, causing the child or adult to not be able to do anything with the things they are learning. They can’t keep up with themselves, in a sense, so they’re always looking for new pieces of information to keep them stimulated. As this happens, they can have troubles remembering what they are supposed to be doing at their particular moment or what they have already done.

Children and adults may exhibit symptoms like:

Problems with focussing
Issues with completing tasks on time
Low test scores
Problems with work assignments
Inability to concentrate on long term projects

Many times, they will also have troubles with mood balancing at the same time. They might become so frustrated with the way their brain doesn’t work that they can also begin to have troubles with depression and anxiety.

Treatments in ADD Right Now

One of the most popular ways to deal with ADD right now is with the use of Ritalin as well as other newer prescription medications. These medications work to slow the brain down so that it can process information more easily. In many children, it can be quite effective, but it’s not without side effects that have made many parents unwilling to try this treatment. For example, there is some concern that these kinds of medications can actually accentuate feelings of depression, often resulting in children or adults that are suicidal. And if the child is always suffering from depression, this kind of treatment plan is only going to perpetuate the feelings.

Some newer treatments are including holistic methods like acupuncture, acupressure, mediation and changes in diet. These seem to be working well for many patients, but they are not the only option.

Why More People are Turning to Fish Oil

A few years ago, schools in the UK were actually considering making fish oil supplementation a part of the school day because of its promising effects. A study done by Oxford-Durham in 2005 noted that children that took fish oil supplements that contained EFA were more likely to report fewer problems with concentration and anxiety than those in the placebo group.

By studying 100 students, giving half of the students a supplement six times per day of fish oil and EFA and the other half a pill with olive oil in it, researchers noticed that students that received the EFA were able to spell better and to read better over the course of the first three months. As time continued, these results continued to improve.

Other studies done at Ohio State University noted that adults can also benefit from fish oil supplementation when they had been diagnosed with ADD and ADHD.

How to Add Fish Oil to a Child’s Day

When you are ready to try to add fish oil supplements to your child’s diet or to your own, you have a number of options to consider. The easiest way to make sure that the patient is receiving consistent levels of the essential fatty acids is through fish oil supplements. High quality supplements will ensure that the right amount is taken each day, without needing to prepare anything for a meal.

Of course, if the patient or family has the time to cook, sources like oily fishes are the best choice. By eating only two servings of these fishes a week, the benefits of the fish oil fatty acids can be seen. Since the body can not make these essential fatty acids on its own, it’s imperative that they be taken into the body via the diet or by supplements.


If a child or adult is suffering from ADD, adding fish oil to the diet can be a good way to help to regulate the symptoms as well as to provide a side effect free way to help their lives.

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