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Efficacy and Safety of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Supplementation in the Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials

1
The Parker Institute, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital, The Capital Region, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
2
The Danish Health Authority, 2300 Copenhagen, Denmark
3
Institute of Psychology, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
4
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Aarhus University Hospital, Psychiatry, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Roser Granero
Nutrients 2021, 13(4), 1226; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041226
Received: 1 March 2021 / Revised: 31 March 2021 / Accepted: 6 April 2021 / Published: 8 April 2021
Based on epidemiological and animal studies, the rationale for using polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) as a treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) seems promising. Here, the objective was to systematically identify and critically assess the evidence from clinical trials. The primary outcome was ADHD core symptoms. The secondary outcomes were behavioral difficulties, quality of life, and side effects. We performed a systematic search in Medline, Embase, Cinahl, PsycInfo, and the Cochrane Library up to June 2020. The overall certainty of evidence was evaluated using Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE). We identified 31 relevant randomized controlled trials including 1755 patients. The results showed no effect on ADHD core symptoms rated by parents (k = 23; SMD: −0.17; 95% CI: −0.32, −0.02) or teachers (k = 10; SMD: −0.06; 95% CI: −0.31, 0.19). There was no effect on behavioral difficulties, rated by parents (k = 7; SMD: −0.02; 95% CI: −0.17, 0.14) or teachers (k = 5; SMD: −0.04; 95% CI: −0.35, 0.26). There was no effect on quality of life (SMD: 0.01; 95% CI: −0.29, 0.31). PUFA did not increase the occurrence of side effects. For now, there seems to be no benefit of PUFA in ADHD treatment; however, the certainty of evidence is questionable, and thus no conclusive guidance can be made. The protocol is registered in PROSPERO ID: CRD42020158453. View Full-Text
Keywords: fatty acids; omega 3; polyunsaturated; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; ADHD; children; adolescents; systematic review; meta-analysis fatty acids; omega 3; polyunsaturated; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; ADHD; children; adolescents; systematic review; meta-analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Händel, M.N.; Rohde, J.F.; Rimestad, M.L.; Bandak, E.; Birkefoss, K.; Tendal, B.; Lemcke, S.; Callesen, H.E. Efficacy and Safety of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Supplementation in the Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials. Nutrients 2021, 13, 1226. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041226

AMA Style

Händel MN, Rohde JF, Rimestad ML, Bandak E, Birkefoss K, Tendal B, Lemcke S, Callesen HE. Efficacy and Safety of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Supplementation in the Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials. Nutrients. 2021; 13(4):1226. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041226

Chicago/Turabian Style

Händel, Mina N., Jeanett F. Rohde, Marie L. Rimestad, Elisabeth Bandak, Kirsten Birkefoss, Britta Tendal, Sanne Lemcke, and Henriette E. Callesen. 2021. "Efficacy and Safety of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Supplementation in the Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials" Nutrients 13, no. 4: 1226. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041226

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