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ADHD Natural Remedies: Flaxseed Oil

The relationship between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies has been confirmed by several studies on children with ADHD. Findings show that children with ADHD have lower levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an essential fatty acid necessary for the functioning of the cerebral cortex and for the structure of neurons. In fact, essential fatty acids make up 80% of the fatty acids in the cerebral cortex.  The amount of omega-3 fatty acids absorbed by the neurons is determined by the food we eat, but, unfortunately, our typical modern diet is highly deficient in omega-3. Children today prefer eating food laden with saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-6 fatty acids.

When the cell membrane has too much of these fats, it becomes hard and loses its flexibility. Proper nerve cell function depends on a fluid cell membrane. Hardened cell membranes lead to improper neuronal signaling and nerve impulse transmission. As a result, children with omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies exhibit impulsive, aggressive behavior, have short attention spans, and are more likely to be socially withdrawn.

If your child is suffering from an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency, you can correct this by supplementing his or her diet with flaxseed oil.  Flaxseed oil is the richest source of ALA, the parent of the omega-3 family.   The recommended dosage of flaxseed oil for children is one tablespoon per 100 lbs. 

Make sure that you order flaxseed oil only from reputable companies.  Most stores get their sources from third-party distributors, making it take longer for the product to hit their shelves. Because of that, most commercially available flaxseed oil is dated for up to one year for freshness – too long for an electron-rich, perishable live food.  What's worse is that some manufacturers resort to filtering or refining the flaxseed oil to extend its shelf life.  Be sure that you get made-to-order flaxseed oil that is pressed the day you ordered it. 

Make sure also that you only consume cold-pressed flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil is very sensitive to heat, light, and oxygen, and easily goes rancid. Never cook flaxseed oil. Ideally, you want to buy flaxseed oil in small darkened bottles, to help preserve it from light. Always close the bottle after use and keep it in the fridge. In order to ensure that it won't become rancid, only buy small bottles that you can consume in about 6-8 weeks. Never buy big bottles whose contents sit on a shelf for long periods of time.

Obviously, flaxseed oil should be part of a comprehensive holistic plan to manage ADHD naturally, such as the one I recommend in the UnRitalin Solution.