Friday, February 10, 2006

Studies To Compare Natural Supplements To Ritalin

Previous studies have shown that certain long-chain fatty acids are critical for normal brain development. Deficiencies or an imbalance of these fatty acids contribute to ADHD.
A study in January 2006 examined 30 children diagnosed with ADHD and 30 healthy children. They were all given flax oil supplements that contained 200 mg of alpha linolenic acid and 25 mg of vitamin C for two times a day for three months. A clinical psychologist analyzed their behavior before and after three months. To determine the change in fatty acids, the children’s blood cells were also analyzed before and after the tree months.
Findings concluded that after three months there was a significant increase in both EPA and DHA, which are key amino acids needed for normal brain development. Researchers found that all ADHD measures had improved after the three months. Individual problems with inattention, impulsivity and learning problems were deceasing in the post-supplementation group. All children completed the study with the supplements being taken by all with no side effects. Researchers concluded that polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements brought an improvement in educational and behavioral problems among children with developmental coordination disorder and a reduction in ADHD symptoms.
A study at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv had children putting chocolate fish oil on bread. After three months, 20 out of 30 showed a significant improvement when a psychological re-evaluation was performed. Although the research results were exciting, the doctors cautioned that his was preliminary findings and believe more research is needed.
Another study showing the benefits of fish oil was conducted on children n Durham, U.K. The study was conducted on children that were behind a year from their peers, many which had ADHD. Research results showed a dramatic improvement in speech, behavior, and reading. The fatty acid supplements used contained omega-3 and omega-6.
These studies show that there are alternatives to Ritalin. Almost 10 million Ritalin prescriptions are filled each year in the U.S. Ritalin, or methylphenidate, is a central nervous system stimulant. It has the effects of caffeine, but more potent. In the 1990’s, sales of Ritalin and similar ADHD drugs rose by more than 500 percent. Even back in 1996 the World Health Organization warned that it was being overused. According to research, long term se could cause seizures, suppress growth, cause angina, cause changes in blood pressure and causes depression.
Finally, a natural alternative to Ritalin has been tested at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center. It’s a natural oil-based alternative used to treat ADHD symptoms such as a short attention span and and inability to focus.
This research was in progress for a year and a half and commissioned on behalf of an unnamed company, who hopes to develop a product. Their goal is to come up with the right combination of oils which would effectively change the impulses going through the cell membrane. A double blind study was conducted on about 90 children, divided into three groups, who were off of their Ritalin for the summer. The children had either been taking Ritalin or were diagnosed through a computerized test called the Test of Variables Attention (TOVA). TOVA is a computerized assessment, along with teacher and parent behavior rating scales, that is a highly effective screening tool for ADD.
One group was given Canola oil. The second group was given fish oil, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids and deficient in children with ADHD. And the third group was given a mixture under study. All dosages were mixed with chocolate to get the children to comply for the three month period. At the end of the three months the TOVA test was given again and results were compared. They found no change in the group who took the canola oil, a slight improvement in those taking the fish oil, and they found significant improvement in those who received the special mixture. Researchers believed that 60 percent of the children ended up in the normal TOVA range.

3 comments:

Jasonmark said...

new adhd test proposed/published - gsr for mearuring adhd stress when trying to concentrate and being bored.- guide to gsr biofeedback for the natural adhd [ractitioner.

Vitamins said...

Hey, It's me the man with the Vitamins again, just popped in to say that when you eat you vitamins you stay healthy!

April said...

Thanks for the great information. I just started my daughter on Omega 3's and 6's. This makes me hopeful!