Like fish oil, Flaxseed oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which have numerous health benefits. These fatty acids are essential to brain health and overall health.
Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to enhance and stabilize mood and have been used in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
In addition, in countries with a high intake of Omega-3 in their diets, there is a correlation with lower rates of depression and anxiety.
As a result, flax seed oil and fish oil are gaining increasing attention in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD). In fact, some researchers suggest a link between low levels of essential fatty acids and ADHD.
In one well known study conducted at the University of South Australia, researchers tested Omega-3 oil in 132 children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ranging from 7 to 12 years of age. At the conclusion of the study, almost 50% of parents reported improved behavioral symptoms in their children.
They reported a 40-50 percent improvement in behavior for the group that was taking Omega-3 supplements. Interestingly, compared to the research on popular ADHD medications such as Ritalin and Concerta, they found the Omega-3 more effective.
In addition, a study published in the Nutrition Journal (http://www.nutritionj.com) suggested that children with ADD/ADHD can benefit from a daily Omega-3 supplement. They found that children who consumed between 8 and 16 grams per day of Omega-3 displayed significant improvements in their behavior as rated by both their parents and their treating psychiatrists.
They discovered a statistically significant improvement in inattention, hyperactivity, oppositional/defiant behavior and conduct disorders.
In a clinical trial published last year in The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, researchers found improvements in parents’ ratings of their children’s hyperactivity and inattention after a round of Omega-3 supplementation.
Furthermore, a British study published in the journal Pediatrics in 2005 reported improvements in reading and spelling among children treated with omega-3 fatty acids.
While more research is warranted, the bottom line is that the evidence regarding Flax and Omega-3 in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder appears promising.
Unlike amphetamine-based stimulant medications such as Ritalin or Adderall, flaxseed oil does not have any side effects when taken as directed. Side effects of Ritalin, Adderall and other powerful stimulant amphetamine-based medications can result in nausea, headaches, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, etc.
None of these occur when taking Flax.