Omega-3, Fish Oil, & ADHD

Have you noticed all the news lately about Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)? Seems like every child these days has ADHD and even some adults claim to have it.

According to some experts, the modern diet may be causing an ADHD epidemic.

Understanding this might help you find a solution if you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of ADHD such as poor memory, poor concentration, hyperactivity, behavior problems, and learning difficulty.

But for years the cause of ADHD has been a mystery. A big part of the truth may simply be in the way our food is processed.

Your brain is made of fats which are constantly being replaced. Many of these fats cannot be made by the body but come from the diet, and an especially important type of fat are the Omega fatty acids.

The problem is, the diets of many people in this country are severely lacking in this nutrient. But why is that?

It is common knowledge that anything you eat out of a can or a box is highly processed. This helps preserve taste and extend shelf life. During preservation, the healthy fats in these foods (including the Omega's) are replaced with hydrogenated fat. Hydrogenated fat is not good for brain function and growth.

So we are basically victims of our own need for taste and convenience. We have taken the healthy brain nutrients right out of our food!

An important step any person with ADHD should do is change their diet to replace processed foods with fresh foods. Eliminate any food or drink that is processed. You may notice amazing results right away.

Fish Oil is High in Omega Fats

But making big dietary changes takes time for most people. To help get Omega fatty acids quickly back into the diet, you should also consider talking fish oil supplements.

In a recent study, ADHD school children in Durham, England showed dramatic improvement when they were given six grams of Fish Oil vitamins daily for several months. Fish Oil vitamins contain the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids that the brain needs.

Many of the children in this study experienced major changes in behavior and ability to concentrate. Their schoolwork literally improved by leaps and bounds.

Fish Oil vitamins are available over-the-counter at any pharmacy or grocery store. Consult with your doctor if necessary, then start taking fish oil vitamins daily with meals.

More studies may be needed to prove it, but Fish Oil just may just be the natural ADHD remedy you have been looking for!

Which Fish Oil Supplement to Use?

The way I see it, if you want yourself or your child to get the same results as the research studies did, you need to take the same supplements. So here is the actual vitamin formula used in the UK study as best as I've been able to determine:

equazen eye q

On a daily basis for several months, the children were given a product called Equazen Eye Q ("IQ") Omega 3 & 6, made by a British company named Equazen. One capsule of Eye Q contains the following ingredients:

  • Fish Oil (400mg), which includes Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) 93mg and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) 29 mg. EPA and DHA are types of Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Evening Primrose Oil (200mg), which includes Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) 10mg and Natural Vitamin E 1.8mg. GLA is a type of Omega-6 fatty acid. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect brain tissue from free radicals.

The recommended dosage for the first 12 weeks is 6 capsules a day. From what I've seen of the pricing of Eye Q on the Internet, this can set you back $50-60 a month (not including tax and shipping charges).

But it may be worth it, if it really makes ADHD symptoms go away.

The way I'm getting around this expense is purchasing the knock-off brands here in the U.S. Probably knock-off is the wrong word, but there are products that contain the same ingredients as Eye Q but are a lot cheaper.

Vitacost as a Cheaper Alternative

I order my Eye Q equivalent from the wholesaler Vitacost. They sell a vitamin called "NSI Mega EFA" that contains a high amount of Omega-3 EPA and DHA. I take this with another vitamin of theirs called "NSI Evening Primrose Oil".

Vitacost charges a flat $4.99 for shipping regardless of order size. The recent pricing at Vitacost for these two vitamins was:

  • NSI Mega EFA (240 softgels, EPA 400mg, DHA 200mg): $21.99
  • NSI Evening Primrose Oil (300 softgels, GLA 45mg): $13.99

Let's do the math on this to see which is cheaper(I'll do it for you):

Equazen Eye Q: At the recommended 6 capsules a day, you are taking about 600 mg EPA and 180 mg DHA, plus 60 mg GLA and 12 mg Vitamin E per day. COST: At least $50-$60 per month not including shipping.

Vitacost NSI:
(1) Mega EFA - 240 softgels X EPA 400mg = 96,000mg EPA. And, 240 softgels X DHA 200mg = 48,000mg DHA.
(2) Evening Primrose Oil - 300 softgels X GLA 45mg = 13,500mg GLA. The Vitamin E antioxidant you can get from a regular Vitamin E or multivitamin supplement.

So, for the Vitacost brands:

- 96,000mg EPA / 600mg EPA per day = 160 days supply (over 5 months worth)
- 48,000mg DHA / 180mg DHA per day = 267 days supply (over 8 months worth)
- 13,500mg GLA / 60mg GLA per day = 225 days suppy (over 7 months worth)

Therefore with the Vitacost brands you are getting over 5 months of high-dose essential Omega-3 fatty acids and over 8 months of the essential Omega-6 fatty acids. Cost-wise, one bottle each of the NSI Mega EFA and NSA Evening Primrose Oil is $21.99 + $13.99 = $35.98.

So: Equazen Eye Q is about $50 for a one-month supply, and the Vitacost brand is about $36 for a 5 months supply with a lot left over.

Vitacost per month works out to $36 / 5 = $7.20.

OKAY! Phew. That was a lot of arithmetic, but look at the result:

For the exact same Omega-3/Omega-6 supplements that were used in the British ADHD study, you can either pay $50 a month for Equazen or $7 per month for Vitacost.

Excuse the pun, but that a no-brainer! Anyway, it's your decision.

Vitacost also sells these as flavored liquids, if you prefer that instead of capsules. The flavored liquid is a good option if children are going to be taking it.

Published: 10/30/2007
Last Updated: 06/11/2020

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