As far as natural remedies for ADD and home remedies for ADHD are concerned, omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is at the top of the list. But you need to make sure you do it correctly, and here's why...
Omega-3 deficiencies would have to be one of the most underrated causes of ADD and ADHD disorders. You never hear the medical profession talking about this one (except saying that it’s a load of “quackery”) yet multiple studies have shown that ADD and ADHD children have significantly lower levels of omega-3s in their bodies than non sufferers do.
And further research, including the recent blockbuster ADHD study performed by the University of South Australia, have also been able to confirm that by giving your ADD or ADHD child omega-3 supplements - along with some omega-6 - you can improve their bad behavioural patterns quite dramatically!
Here's what researchers had to say after the study…
“Supplementation with PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) over 15 weeks resulted in significant improvements compared to placebo in parent ratings of core ADHD-related behavioural and cognitive difficulties, namely inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, with medium to large effect sizes, and also in ratings of oppositional behaviour.
And according to head researcher, Natalie Sinn, even after the placebo group switched over from a “nothing” pill to fish oil and evening primrose oil supplements…
“The fish oil groups continued to improve after taking the supplement for a further 15 weeks".
You can get your daily dose of omega-3s from various sources. The easiest and the cheapest is fish oil and cod liver oil, but you need to be careful of contamination. Many fish oil supplements contain mercury and other heavy metals, so only buy from companies who's products are free of chemicals.
Evening primrose oil is also a great source of omega-3 and contains the crucial omega-6 fatty acid, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). In fact, taking fish oil/cod liver oil and evening primrose oil supplements together works by far the best (the GLA in the evening primrose oil increases the healing and anti-inflammatory properties of the fish oil). Children need at least 3000 mg a day (according to the University of South Australia study) and adults need at least 6000 mg a day of both the fish oil/cod liver oil and evening primrose oil for maximum benefit (yes that's a total of 6000 mg's and 12,000 mg's all up).
And as another of your "natural remedies for ADD and ADHD" you should also consider taking Flaxseed oil or borage oil, both of which are rich sources of omega-3's. But if you do, be sure to only ever purchase the cold pressed oil in dark containers because of the safety aspect (and they must always be refrigerated). Another good idea is to buy the ground up LSA mixes (linseed, sunflower and almonds) that you find in health food stores and sprinkle some over your cereals, salads, etc, for an extra “cheap” supply of omega-3's.
Finally, you can now purchase green-lipped mussels or krill oil for a potent dose of omega-3's. However, we feel that fish oil is still a better alternative as it can be taken in divided doses throughout the day (which works better) rather than as a "once a day" capsule. But if your child struggles to take tablets then krill oil is the best choice as you can buy them in small, easy to swallow capsules.
For more validation on the benefits of omega-3’s as natural remedies for ADD and ADHD, take a look at a couple of terrific quotes from well respected authors and health experts on exactly why you and your children need be supplementing with these vital nutrients…
The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA make prostaglandins, which are essential for proper brain function, which affects vision, learning ability, coordination, and mood. Like series 1 prostaglandins, they reduce the stickiness of the blood, as well as control blood cholesterol and fat levels, improve immune function and metabolism, reduce inflammation, and maintain water balance.
- The New Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford (available from Amazon.com)
There are numerous published reports demonstrating the benefits of supplementation with individual or combination omega-3 EFAs for many of these mental disorders as well as borderline personality disorder, conduct disorder in children, and bipolar disorder. Although it is unclear as to what are the exact mechanisms that explain the benefits of omega-3 EFAs, it is known that they do play an integral role in the functioning of the brain and neurons. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the predominant omega-3 fatty acid in the brain, and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is involved in reducing inflammation. Both DHA and EPA are involved in numerous neuronal functions that include proper neurotransmitter function for dopamine and serotonin, normal membrane fluidity, ion channel and enzyme regulation, and gene expression.
- Naturopathic Nutrition: A Guide to Nutrient-rich Food & Nutritional Supplements for Optimum Health by Abram Hoffer, PhD, MD, FRCP (C) and Dr. Jonathan Prousjy, DPHE, DSC, ND, FRSH (available from Amazon.com)
Found in flaxseed oil and fish oils, omega-3 fatty acids can’t be made in the body but must come from our food. The omega-3 fatty acids are necessary in the manufacture of our hormones, important for our heart, and necessary for the development of our brain. They also play a role in preventing cancer.
- Gary Null’s Power Aging by Gary Null (available from Amazon.com)
All quotes are sourced from this link The powerful role of omega-3 fatty acids for health
Researchers have just recently discovered that consuming coconut oil and coconut milk along with omega-3 supplements such as fish oil, produces some added benefits for human brain health - especially for young developing brains.
The coconut is considered to be one of the most potent fuels for healthy brain function. It's one of the richest known sources of medium chain triglycerides (only second to human breast milk in fact) which are crucial for the production of ketones. These ketones are needed by the brain for a constant and stable supply of fuel.
One of the biggest benefits and advantages of coconut oil for ADD and ADHD patients is it's ability to make them focus and concentrate more intensely and for longer periods. This powerful benefit helps to stop the dreaded “foggy brain” and fatigue syndrome that normally affects most sufferers.
Now, when you go to purchase coconut oil and coconut milk, you need to make sure you only ever buy the raw, virgin varieties (and not the "reduced fat" milk either). Dried coconut flakes are also okay to eat as well, but the oil is the most prized. Use all of them in your food and cooking as much as possible (coconut oil doesn’t go rancid or produce trans fatty acids and free radicals when it’s heated so it’s perfectly safe to use as a cooking oil).
Adolescent ADD and ADHD sufferers need at least 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil every day and adults 3-4 tablespoons per day so extra supplementation will be required (and it's easily consumed when it's added to smoothies, etc). Only shop at your local health food store or a trusted online supplement company such as Amazon.com for your raw, virgin coconut oil and coconut milk.