Co-therapy potential for Vegepa in ADHD, study shows


Safe & natural co-therapy treatment for ADHD.

New breakthrough clinical evidence published in the Journal of Child Neurology 1demonstrates positive outcomes with a natural over-the-counter food supplement in children with ADHD, all of whom were resistant to treatment with methylphenidate.

The double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial, recruited 94 children clinically diagnosed with ADHD, taking methylphenidate for six months or more, with standard behaviour therapy, but had no reported improvement in behaviour or academic learning. These treatment-resistant children were then randomly assigned to receive supplementation with either two daily capsules of Vegepa E-EPA 70 (providing 560 mg of marine EPA and 18 mg of GLA), or a placebo. All children continued to take methylphenidate daily.

Of those children taking Vegepa E-EPA 70, 81.2% showed statistically significant improvements in restlessness, 87.5% in aggressiveness and 70.8% in anger control.  Furthermore, 83.3% showed statistically significant improvements in cooperation with both parents and teachers, with 77.1% of children showing improved educational functioning and academic performance.  Whilst some improvements were observed within three months, the most marked improvements were observed after six months of supplementation, demonstrating the critical importance of length of treatment regime.

Symptom

Statistically significant improvements from Vegepa E-EPA 70 after 6 months

Statistically significant improvements at 6 months but not at 3 months

Restlessness

 

Aggressiveness

 

Anger control

 

Completing work

 

Academic performance

 

Inattention

 

Impulsiveness

 

Cooperation with parents/teachers

 

With drug prescriptions at an all-time high (ADHD prescriptions rose almost four-fold in England from 158,000 in 1998 to 661,463 in 2010)2, and a treatment gap whereby some children do not respond to medication, the results from this pilot study bring fresh hope for parents of treatment-resistant children.

Professor Basant K. Puri, of Imperial College London, a scientist and clinician who has been researching nutritional medicine for many years, commented: “This pilot study is the first to test the effects of adjunctive supplementation with ultra-pure ethyl-EPA (without any DHA) and GLA (from virgin evening primrose oil) in treatment-resistant ADHD children who are already receiving the standard medication methylphenidate. Compared with placebo, six months’ supplementation was associated with statistically significant improvements in several measures.

Further studies are certainly warranted, but these results are consistent with previous research on pure EPA [depression]; readily available over-the-counter supplements may offer safe, natural and effective solutions either as alternatives to conventional drug treatments or as effective co-therapies.”

Diet and nutrition in ADHD: an underestimated link

There is increasing recognition that the ‘Western’ diet, energy-dense and nutrient-poor, may contribute to the cause and progression of ADHD.  This in turn has led to a greater focus on the role that specific nutritional deficiencies may play in the symptoms of this condition.  For example, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, iron, and magnesium are all essential to the production and regulation of dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline – neurotransmitters critical in the cause and development of ADHD.

Low intake of fruit and vegetables (key providers of the essential vitamins and minerals involved in a variety of metabolic pathways) can have numerous health consequences. Low micronutrient and fatty acid status often correlate with symptoms of distractibility, cognitive problems and excitability, hyperactivity and sleep disturbances observed in sufferers.

One of the most studied deficiencies related to ADHD is that of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and fish oil. Several areas of the brain, such as the frontal cortex where the omega-3 concentration is very high, are particularly affected by omega–3 polyunsaturated fatty acid deficiency. The frontal lobe contains most of the dopamine-sensitive neurons in the cerebral cortex and these areas are known to be structurally different in children with ADHD when compared to children without the condition. Children with ADHD, and at risk of having low plasma levels of EPA and micronutrients such as zinc, iron and magnesium, will often respond well to dietary supplements.

 References

1. Perera H, Jeewandara KC, Seneviratne S & Guruge C. (2012) Combined Omega-3 and Omega-6 supplementation in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder refractory to methylphenidate treatment: a double-blind placebo-controlled study.  Journal of Child Neurology 27:747-753.
2. Figures released by the NHS business services authority to the Liberal Democrat MP Tessa Munt.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Seasonal superfoods
Feature story: Nola Smith