Question: My grandson was just diagnosed with ADHD. His doctor, of course, is suggesting Ritalin. Is this the only option?
Dr. Wright: ADHD isn’t the result of a Ritalin or Adderall deficiency. But the symptoms can be linked to a deficiency in essential fatty acids–particularly the omega-3 variety.
Nutritionists and nutrition-oriented physicians have noted for years that omega-3 fatty acids are in very short supply in the standard American diet (aptly abbreviated “SAD”). Even mainstream medical research has repeatedly noted the association between low omega-3 fatty acids and ADHD.
One research paper published in 2006 noted, “Lower levels of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, in blood have repeatedly been associated with a variety of behavioral disorders including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).” But despite the fact that their observations had consistently linked ADHD to omega-3 deficiency, the authors still concluded their study by saying, “continued research in this field is encouraged.”
Rather than waiting decades for “continued research,” physicians skilled and knowledgeable in natural and nutritional medicine have recommended omega-3 fatty acids for children with ADHD for years, and have found them helpful in improving symptoms from a little to a lot in nearly all cases. It’s quite obvious to these physicians that omega-3 fatty acid deficiency in children’s brains is a major contributor to ADHD in many children.
It’s common sense! Not only are omega-3 fatty acids enormously safer than stimulant patent medications, they’re also essential for optimal brain function, growth, and development. Unfortunately, most kids are being shortchanged on these essential nutrients–starting even before they’re born.
The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are wild fish and fish oils. Walnuts, flaxseed, rose hips, and hempseed (and their oils) are also decent sources, although not nearly as good as fish. Meat from free-range, grass-fed, organic beef, chicken, buffalo, and pigs also contains more omega-3 fatty acids than meat from the same commercially raised animals. And deer, elk, and other “wild game” are also good sources, as are “omega eggs,” which usually come from chickens fed purslane, a “weed” rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
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