Dosage of fish oil for adhd

ADHD and Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements Safe Dosage

ADDitude Answers

Studies have yet to determine an optimum dosage of omega-3s, or fish oil, in children or adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). I would recommend children four to six years of age start with a daily supplement of 500 mg of omega-3s; children seven years and older, 1000 mg. In both cases, I recommend a supplement that has equal amounts of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaeic acid). Talk with your health care provider to discover the optimum dosage for your child.

Although one Japanese study gave children very high amounts of omega-3s that resulted in improved ADHD symptoms, the FDA recommends taking no more than 3000 mg a day. Even then, talk with your doctor before increasing omega-3 intake to that level.

Note: ADDitude does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material on this website is provided for educational purposes only. See additional information. While comments are appreciated, due to the high volume of inquiries we receive, there is no guarantee that either ADDitude or the expert will respond to follow-up questions.

[Free Guide: 5 All-Natural ADHD Supplements]

Posted by Sandy Newmark, M.D.
Author of ADHD Without Drugs: A Guide to Natural Care of Children with ADHD and a Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Francisco

A Reader Answers

Our kids take over 300 mg a day of DHA (liquid) and over 600 mg of total Omega-3

They also take GABA and 5-HTP

Posted by Laurie

A Reader Answers

My son’s neurologist told us we could give any where from 2,000mg (2g) to 15,000mg (15g) when he was 7 years old. He is 9 now and takes 8g a day, split between morning and evening. He can swallow just about anything but I still try to keep the size manageable. Some of the fish oil gel caps are huge!

Posted by Tigger’s Mom

A Reader Answers

Our pediatrician recommended 1000mg per day of Omega 3’s. We use Karlson for Kids liquid and I give it to both of my children with breakfast everyday. I would not use more than that as it can affect their coagulation and cause bleeding in higher dosing.

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Posted by LisaVRN

A Reader Answers

I give my son, who is 8, about 640 mg a day of Omega 3’s. It’s a 3:2 EPA to DHA ratio. The supplement is by Nordic Naturals and is called Ultimate Omega Junior. He has been doing well on it. I’ve given him higher doses before, up to 1000mg to 1200 mg, but he seemed to be irritable and somewhat agitated with the higher doses.

So, keep an eye out for this as you increase. I actually didn’t realize this could be an issue and was looking for other causes of his irritability. When someone else suggested that it could be the higher dose, I decreased it and he was a lot better. I guess it just depends on the kiddo.

Posted by JS

A Reader Answers

My son’s doctor recommends Omega 3 fatty acids with a ratio of twice as much DHA as ARA. Minami has one called More EPA. There is an adult version and a kid version. We give one adult or two kid softgels per day.

Posted by SueH

A Reader Answers

Our son’s doctor says there’s not a specific recommended dose, but just what works for the individual. Start out small, and then increase a little at at time. Some say it takes about 3 weeks to see results, so maybe try a dose for a month at a time. Then do a challenge study.

[Free Download: Fish Oil Supplements for Children with ADHD/a>]

It might not be just the Omega-3s, but more the ratio of Omega-3s to Omega-6s. I’ve heard a 1:1 ratio is ideal (typical diets range from 10 – 20 Omega-6 to 1 Omega-3). Even if my son is taking his regular dose of fish oil, if he ends up eating more “bad fat” foods (lots of butter, pizza, fried foods, etc.), his symptoms are worse. (By the way, don’t underestimate the role of fiber!)

He likes the Bioglan Kids Smart fish oil found at RiteAid or Amazon.

Posted by Stephanne

This question was originally asked on the ADDConnect forums.

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Benefits of Fish Oil: Can It Help ADHD?

While there is no cure for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), there are several treatment options to help manage symptoms. Usually a comprehensive approach, one that may include medication, behavioral therapy, and education, can best help.

And one tool that researchers are finding may be part of that arsenal is fish oil — or more specifically the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil.

Fish oil is found in fresh fish and seafood, and it is also available in supplement form. It’s made up of two main omega-3s, which are polyunsaturated fatty acids: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

Consuming omega-3s is known to be important for brain health and functioning. “These fatty acids are an essential part of nerve cell membranes [the cells’ outer layer], assist in cell communication, and help regulate inflammation,” explains Eugene Arnold, MD, MEd, professor emeritus in the department of psychiatry and behavioral health at The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus.

It’s worth noting that in addition to fish oil there is another type of omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is found in plant-based foods like walnuts and flaxseed. It gets converted into EPA and DHA in the brain, but this process isn’t as efficient in delivering DHA and EPA to your brain as consuming fish or fish oil supplements, according to a 2020 review published in the journal Nutrients.

Fish oil isn’t yet included in treatment guidelines for ADHD, but there is evidence that taking omega-3 fatty acids from either fish or plant sources may have some benefit for people with the disorder when it comes to improving symptoms, explains Scott Kollins, PhD, professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Duke ADHD Program at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina.

“Overall, research on well-conducted, randomized-controlled studies shows that the benefits of omega 3s are small, but they are better than placebo,” he says. (A 2019 review in the International Journal of Molecular Science came to the same conclusion.)

Given it is overall safe, easy to access, and relatively inexpensive, he says as a clinician he may recommend fish oil alongside existing treatment with the thought that it can possibly add value for certain patients.

But it’s important to note that people with ADHD shouldn’t use fish oil to replace any of their current treatments or medications — and if you want to try it, you should check with your doctor first to make sure you’re choosing an appropriate dose and it won’t interfere with any other drugs you’re taking.

RELATED: Can Fish Oil Help With Depression?

Does Fish Oil Help With ADHD? What’s the Evidence?

ADHD can affect both children and adults and is defined by an inability to focus, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, notes the American Psychiatric Association.

Having lower levels of omega-3s has been found to be associated with behavioral and learning difficulties, according to an August 2020 review in Nutrients. So researchers have begun to investigate whether reversing these nutrient deficiencies — either via supplement or diet — may help with the behavioral and learning symptoms of ADHD.

In one meta-analysis on randomized controlled trials published in Neuropsychopharmacology in February 2018, researchers found that children with ADHD have an omega-3 deficiency of DHA and EPA. Overall, the review of seven clinical trials including more than 500 children concluded that children taking a combined EPA and DHA supplements showed improvements on their symptoms of ADHD, as well as attention scores, according to parent reports.

Dr. Arnold and his colleagues conducted a study in children who had depression or bipolar disorder, the majority of whom also had ADHD. (About two-thirds of children with ADHD also have another condition, including anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. ) For Arnold’s research, one group received an omega-3 supplement (a combination of EPA, DHA, and other omega 3s) twice daily for 12 weeks, while the other took a placebo. That study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry in June 2018, found that those in the omega-3 group had improved executive functioning, and those with ADHD responded particularly well to the supplement over the placebo, he says.

Exactly why omega-3s may be useful isn’t yet well understood. Dr. Kollins says omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties and because research indicates inflammation may contribute to the development of ADHD symptoms (a 2017 Frontiers in Psychiatry review came to that conclusion), the fatty acids may interfere with that trajectory. But there’s still not enough evidence to show exactly what’s going on.

Kollins, who treats patients with ADHD, notes that taking a fish oil supplement from a trusted, reputable brand is safe and relatively inexpensive, so if his patients wanted to try it, he would recommend it. But he notes that people should check in with their healthcare provider before trying it to make sure it won’t interact with any other medications they’re taking and confirm the right dose for them. And note that fish oil or other types of omega-3 supplements should be used in addition to medication (such as stimulants) or behavioral therapy, not as a standalone treatment.

How Much Fish Oil Should I Take for ADHD?

If you’d like to consider taking a fish oil supplement for ADHD, talk with your doctor. He or she can advise on the best dose for you.

Usually, a supplement that contains 1 gram of EPA-DHA fish oil is adequate, says Arnold. Look for one that contains higher levels of EPA — research suggests one with at least 500 mg of EPA is beneficial, according to the 2018 Neuropsychopharmacology review.

If you are eating oily fish (like salmon, tuna, or mackerel) three times per week, you can skip the omega-3 supplement, Arnold says. However, it’s worth noting evidence suggests that children with ADHD consume fish and seafood less often than children who do not have ADHD, per a study published in Brain Sciences in May 2019.

How Quickly Will I See Benefits After Taking Fish Oil or Omega-3 Supplements for ADHD?

If you up your omega-3 intake (either via supplement or diet), don’t expect to see an improvement in symptoms overnight, Arnold says. Give it up to about three months, he says.

If you’re starting with an omega-3 deficit in the brain, the brain has been making do with arachidonic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid that’s not as efficient in the brain. “It’s like running a high-performance engine on low-octane gas,” Arnold explains.

By consuming more omega-3s over time, the DHA and EPA will begin to substitute for arachidonic acid. And as the omega-3s build up, you should start to see improvements, Arnold adds.

It can be a challenge to monitor progress on symptoms, Kollins says. First, consult with your ADHD medical team before taking any new supplement (including fish oil). Together determine the goal of ADHD treatment. Is it that you want your child to be able to get ready independently in the morning? Do you want to be able to get yourself ready in a specified amount of time? “Come up with a concrete target to monitor, which will provide an idea if treatment is having a meaningful effect,” says Kollins.

Are There Other Supplements That Help With ADHD?

There are a number of other complementary therapies, including supplements, that your clinician might recommend to help with ADHD, including a broad-spectrum micronutrient supplement.

“USDA data shows the dietary intake for Americans is, on average, deficient in several vitamins and minerals,” Arnold explains. Because people aren’t necessarily deficient in the same ones, he recommends buying a multivitamin with at least 20 nutrients to fill potential gaps.

RELATED: What Are Some ADHD-Friendly Healthy Snacks to Incorporate Into My Child’s Diet?

A 10-week randomized placebo-controlled trial on kids found that supplementing with a multivitamin improved ADHD symptoms overall, per a study published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology in July 2019. What’s more, for kids who then began taking medications for ADHD, those also taking a multivitamin fared better. Studies have also shown similar success for adults taking a multivitamin.

Other complementary approaches include regular exercise and a consistent sleep routine. “Exercise promotes the same kind of neurotransmission that stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD do, but more naturally and without side effects,” says Arnold.

Sleep deprivation, he says, can exacerbate ADHD symptoms and mimic them, too. (You may think you or your child have ADHD, but in reality, you need more sleep.) School age children should get at least 10 hours of sleep per night, while adults should aim for eight, he says, numbers that are aligned with the National Sleep Foundation's recommendations.

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Fish oil for ADHD: does it work?



  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Can fish oil treat ADHD?
    • omega-3 PNZHK
  • Potential side effects of drug and fish oil
    • Side effects of fish oil
  • Conclusion
  • attention deficiency

    Syndrome of attention deficit and hypertension) , and children, but most often occurs in male children. Symptoms of ADHD, which often begin in childhood, include:

    • difficulty concentrating
    • difficult to sit still
    • being forgetful
    • easily distracted

    A A 2016 review of studies notes that the disorder may continue into adulthood in half of all diagnosed children.

    ADHD is usually treated with medication and behavioral therapy. Medical professionals have shown interest in other treatment options that do not have the potential side effects seen with drugs like methylphenidate or amphetamine-based stimulants like Adderall.

    Can fish oil treat ADHD?

    Researchers have studied fish oil as a treatment for ADHD symptoms because it contains two important omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 PUFAs):

    • DHA is highly concentrated in the brain and contributes to the protection of neurons.

      A A 2016 review of 25 years of studies determined that treatment with both DHA and EPA showed improved outcomes in patients with ADHD, noting that further research is needed to determine ideal dosages of omega-3 PUFAs.

      Omega-3 PUFAs

      Studies have shown that people with ADHD often have lower amounts of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in their blood. Omega-3 PUFAs are essential nutrients for brain development and function.

      A 2016 review of 25 years of studies conducted between 2000 and 2015—mostly with school-age children aged 6 to 13—found that five studies without a placebo group demonstrated that PUFAs reduced symptoms of ADHD. Again, the researchers determined that more double-blind, placebo-controlled studies were needed.

      Although lower PUFA levels probably do not cause ADHD, research generally supports that supplementation may improve symptoms. Because people cannot produce omega-3 PUFAs, they get them from foods like mackerel, salmon, or walnuts, or from supplements in the form of liquids, capsules, or tablets.

      Potential side effects of ADHD medications and fish oil

      There is no cure for ADHD and medications are still the most common form of treatment. One of the reasons for the increased interest in treating ADHD without prescribed medications is the side effects of common ADHD medications, which can include:

      • headaches
      • loss of appetite
      • weight loss
      • Difficulty sleeping
      • upset stomach
      • tics

      Talk to your doctor about potential side effects of these and other medications as well dosage to treat symptoms.

      You can also ask your healthcare provider about potential interactions between fish oil and any other medications you may be taking.

      Side effects of fish oil

      Although fish oil is generally considered to help manage the disorder without causing many side effects, increased intake of omega-3s can increase the risk of bleeding or suppress the immune system.

      In addition, fish oil can cause bad breath, nausea, or indigestion. If you're allergic to fish or shellfish, talk to your doctor to see if fish oil supplements are safe to take.


      Because ADHD medications can cause negative side effects, many have tried other means, such as fish oil, to manage the symptoms of the disorder. Numerous studies have shown that omega-3 PUFAs in fish oil can reduce symptoms.

      Talk to your doctor about the best ADHD treatment plan and find out if adding fish oil supplements will be helpful in managing your symptoms.


      Portal of municipalities of the Republic of Tajikistan

      Monday, July 30, 2018

      This slightly forgotten name "fish oil" was once extremely popular. And for good reason - the supplement has many useful properties. Nowadays, its demand is increasing again, because many women and men want to remain not only beautiful, but also healthy. And this is exactly what fish oil gives us.

      "Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplements can help with depression, ADHD, hypertension, joint pain, eczema, or psoriasis," nutritionist Jacqueline Shaffer, MD, tells Well and Good.

      Indeed, fish oil helps with almost all health problems. The supplement is produced in two types - in capsules and in liquid. Each of them has its own advantages. For example, liquid fish oil is absorbed almost immediately, it is cheaper, but at the same time it has a taste and smell that not everyone likes. But encapsulated fish oil does not have such disadvantages, how it compares favorably with liquid. In this article, we will tell you what fish oil is good for, who should definitely include it in the diet, and how to take this supplement.

      The beneficial properties of fish oil are determined by its composition. It contains omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated acids. These are the most important components of this supplement. There are other elements in it, but their concentration, compared with omega-3 and omega-6, is completely insignificant.

      Omega-3 helps prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases, reduce the amount of "bad" cholesterol and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. Also, these acids have a positive effect on the functioning of the heart, reduce thrombosis, resist the development of arrhythmias, and reduce the likelihood of diabetes. In addition, without omega-3 fatty acids, it is difficult to imagine the formation of cell membranes, the creation of connective tissues and the myelin sheath of nerve fibers.

      Fish oil is useful in the fight against excess weight, it is not in vain that it is advised to take it to everyone who is losing weight. The fact is that it allows you to actively burn saturated fats. One experiment conducted by Australian scientists proved the benefits of fish oil for harmony. Volunteers took 6 grams of the supplement every day, engaged in 45 minutes of physical activity a day, and as a result improved lipid metabolism. Similar results were not seen in those who took sunflower oil.

      By the way, bodybuilders also use it, since the supplement is the right fat. Thanks to fish oil, athletes have all the necessary components for building muscle.
      Thanks to fish oil, brain function improves, the ability to learn increases. Therefore, people are advised to take one capsule a day to prevent dementia.

      Also in fish oil there are vitamins A and D. The latter can reduce nervous excitability, a tendency to cramps in the calf muscles, and also improves the penetration of calcium and phosphorus into cells. Vitamin A improves the growth and reproduction of skin cells, mucous membranes, visual pigments. This component of fish oil has a beneficial effect on the skin, hair and nails, so all women are advised not to forget to drink fish oil.

      In addition, fish oil has an excellent effect on women's health. It is especially useful to drink it with painful menstruation, as well as complications during pregnancy.

      The benefits of fish oil are beyond question. However, it has some contraindications. In particular, if you have a susceptibility to allergic reactions, you should first consult your doctor. Also, it should not be drunk for people with cholelithiasis, urolithiasis, with pathologies of the thyroid gland. With an increased content of calcium and vitamin D in the body, it is also worth abandoning the idea of ​​​​taking fat.

      Everyone should take fish oil. The fact is that the human body is not able to produce omega-3 fatty acids (and this is the main component of the supplement) on its own. It is important to get this element, and you can do it from ordinary food. But then you will need to eat at least three to four servings of fish per week. And supplements in the form of fish oil will not be superfluous.

      Omega-3s can also be obtained from flaxseed oil, chia seeds or flaxseeds. But still, according to nutritionists, the best source of these acids is fish oil.

      The fact is that fish oil contains EPA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which are associated with the greatest impact on health. Although the seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which should be broken down in the body into EPA and DHA, only up to 10 percent of this acid works in this way.

      Learn more