Does DHA Really Help With ADHD?
DHA And Your Health!
Docosahexaenoic Acid, or DHA, is an omega-3 fatty acid known as the primary fatty acid of phospholipids in the brain and the eyes. Its presence in the central nervous system is so overwhelming that studies have often relied on its activities to understand neuronal anomalies. One of the mental disorders that have benefited from these studies is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. Today DHA in conjunction with Eicosapentaenoic Acid, or EPA, have brought encouraging results in treatment of ADHD. The scientific community remains unconvinced of its efficacy, but more research devoted to its use is well underway.
DHA, also known as cervonic acid, comprises a significant fraction of 40 percent of the brain. Plus, the cell membrane that separates and protects the interior of all cells from the outside environment is composed of 50 percent DHA. One of the earliest explanations on the pathophysiology of ADHD pointed out the importance of essential fatty acids in the maintenance of nerve cells, with a deficiency in DHA often associated with cognitive decline. Not surprisingly, children diagnosed with ADHD have lower levels of DHA in their blood in comparison with those who are not.
DHA And The Brain!
Stimulates Brain Development
The physical development of the brain and the rest of the nervous system necessitate the presence of DHA. It has long been postulated that most symptoms of ADHD is influenced by a disorder of the frontal lobe of the brain. This part is ought to have one of the highest concentrations of DHA in the human body, the absence of which has been tied to an compromised functional capacity of the brain to produce not only the DHA-regulated transports of brain chemicals, but also neurotransmitters themselves. Making up an indispensable part of the lipid bilayer comprising the cell membranes, DHA modulates cellular functions by improving cell signaling.
Reduces Neural Cell Death
Deficiency in DHA has been tied to depleting levels of the phospholipid phosphatidylserine present in nerve cells. Phosphatidylserine is a vital component of the inner leaflet of cell membranes that protects the cytosolic part of cells, and is responsible for apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in neurons. When PS levels drop, the ability of cells to support the functions of cell organelles is impaired and threatened by self-induced cell death, resulting in shorter cell life span and increased cell death. This is the reason why PS has also been used in treatment of ADHD. On the other hand, DHA provides a lot more benefits, such as the upkeep of the lipid bilayer, that PS does not.
DHA And ADHD
Promotes Sustained Attention
There is an abundance of data on its potential against ADHD, and several randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Trial of DHA Supplementation in Children with ADHD have produced promising outcomes. In fact, there have mentions of dramatic changes in behavior and a noticeable concentration described as sustained attention. While not all ADHD patients have low levels of DHA, many studies from all over the world have come to the conclusion that DHA is vital to brain function.
If you do not Take DHA fish oil, you should be daily!