There is an association between ADHD and other behavioral disorders and low levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Research appearing in the journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids (Volume 75, Issues 4-5, October-November 2006, Pages 299-308) looked at omega-3 levels in red blood cell and in plasma phospholipids. Symptoms associated with essential fatty acid deficiency include thirst and dry skin, and the researchers found that these symptoms were more common in patients newly diagnosed with ADHD (and therefore not on drug therapy) than in healthy controls. The researchers followed up with the willing subjects, testing blood, and urine. They also had the subjects fill out a general health questionnaire and provide dietary intake information. In the subjects with ADHD, the red blood cells and plasma phospholipids had less omega-3 fatty acids than were found in healthy controls. In the ADHD group, consumption of saturated fats was 30% higher than in the control group. The researchers were not sure why the omega-3 fatty acid levels were lower in the ADHD group and encouraged further research in this area.
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