I’ve known several couples over the years who have children that suffer from Attention Deficit Hypertension Disorder or ADHD and from I can gather, until the introduction of Retlin and a few other prescribed drugs, the parents were at their wits end on how to control their children’s hypertension, while at the same time harnessing their children’s energy into some kind of productive direction.
Healthyminds.org points out that the safety and effectiveness of medication such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) is well documented, and typically, it is well tolerated by children. It has minimal side effects and is not addictive when taken according to a physician’s instructions. While extensive clinical use suggests the effectiveness of clonidine, guanfacine, nortriptyline and imipramine, these medicines have not been approved by FDA for the treatment of ADHD.
However, having established that, it can be said that not every parent wants to use a drug — no matter how effective — as a means of controlling a mental disorder. That’s why so many parents are excited about the possible use of krill oil as a natural alternative treatment for ADHD.
Krill oil is derived from the plankton family of crustaceans and is particularly rich in omega-3 fats, phospholipids and antioxidants. Krill – which are shrimp-like creatures abundant in the Antarctic Ocean, are being targeted as a future omega-3 source. Krill oil has been found to contain 25% omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which the body can readily assimilate. In fact, many biotechnology companies — among them industry leader Neptune Technologies & Bioresources (www.neptunebiotech.com) — are in the process of testing the cognitive effects on ADHD by taking a daily dose of 500mg of krill oil.
According to the American Psychiatric Association (www.psych.org) 58% of people diagnosed with ADHD as children still have full ADHD as adults; In the United States alone, ADHD is estimated to affect 4.4% of adults aged 18- 44 and 7% to 10% of children.
So what is it about Krill Oil that makes such an impact on ADHD?
According to a June 2006 article in the American Journal of Psychiatry (www.ajp.psychiatryonline.org) Omega-3s are known to have membrane-enhancing capabilities in brain cells. One possible medical explanation is that omega-3s play a role in the fortification of the myelin sheaths – which is the core of a nerve fiber or axon and facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses. Not coincidentally, omega-3 fatty acids comprise approximately eight percent of the average human brain according to Dr. David Horrobin, a pioneer in fatty acid research.
A benefit of krill oil is helping the brain to repair damage by promoting neuronal growth. The AJP article went on to note that in a six-month study involving people with schizophrenia and Huntington’s disease who were treated with EPA or a placebo, the placebo group had clearly lost cerebral tissue, while the patients given the supplements had a significant increase of grey and white matter. And even more significant focus of research, however, lies in the role of omega-3s as a non-prescription treatment for certain psychiatric and mental diagnoses — ADHD among them.
Omega-3 oil has long been hailed as the dietetic supplement of choice for lowering cholesterol and aiding in the fight against heart disease. Krill oil — which we noted earlier as being extremely high in omega-3 can also aide in increasing blood circulation, eliminate digestive disorders, cut the risk of stroke and fight rheumatoid arthritis with its anti-inflammatory properties.
Interestingly, krill oil is being touted as a health supplement that can improve anyone’s concentration and memory skills if taken daily and in the proper dosage, and not just those children or adults suffering from Attention Deficit Hypertension Disorder or ADHD.