Omega-3 EPA and DHA in Krill Oil May Help ADHD Patients, Study Shows

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects up to 12% of children and 6% of adults in North America. While Ritalin is the most popular medication, Canadian researchers found no evidence of its effectiveness after four weeks of use in 62 trials. They did find substantial evidence of adverse effects2. But the good news is, initial studies of the effect of omega-3 EPA and DHA essential fatty acids in fish oil on ADHD patients yielded promising results. The outlook became even brighter when krill oil was put to the test.

In January 2007, Neptune Technologies and Bioresources Inc. announced very positive final results of a Phase-I study of the effect of Neptune Krill Oil (NKO™) on adult ADHD3. Neptune is the first and only company with the patented technology to exploit the fullest potential of the krill, which is a tiny crustacean providing a superior (phospholipid) form of omega-3 combined with choline and the super-antioxidant, astaxanthin.

The study was initiated by the International Organization of ADHD and conducted by Florida's Barry University along with private naturopath clinics in Canada. Results were measured by Barkley's Executive Function score of behavior inhibition, daily functional capacity and social behavior. 30 otherwise healthy adults with confirmed ADHD were given 500mg daily of NKO™ for six months. Although five patients didn't complete the study, no adverse events were reported among the 30 patients.

The 25 patients who completed the 6-month study showed a statistically significant improvement in all Barkley's Executive Function scores. Included:

  • 60.2% improvement in concentration and working capacity
  • 39.0% improvement in ability to focus
  • 48.8% improvement in social skills
  • 34.2% improvement in ability to manage money
  • 50.0% improvement in planning skills
  • 34.5% improvement in driving capacity and road safety skills

"NKO is shown to be a natural, safe and effective product for the treatment of ADHD,"1 said Dr. Leslie Rouder, director of disability services at Barry University and a private practitioner specializing in ADHD.

"Drugs are useful resources in the treatment of ADHD but medication is not always the best answer," said Neptune's medical director Dr. Marius Gangal, MD, PhD, MBA. "Over-prescription, drug-induced toxicity and the high cost of treatment are recognized problems of the recommended ADHD management guidelines," he said. Dr. Mangal is a neuro-pathologist with an extensive background in medical research on cognitive disorders and neurodegenerative pathology. "NKO will help patients reduce or even avoid medication and improve their quality of life," he said1.

Large Cognitive Function Studies with Krill Oil to Follow

Even better news is that this study was the springboard for much larger studies on cognitive function with NKO™. "We are emphasizing cognitive function and not necessarily only ADHD," said Dr. Tina Sampalis, MD, PhD, vice president of R&D and business development at Neptune. "Neptune krill oil is for people who would like to improve their concentration and memory in general," she said. NKO™ has already been clinically proven to significantly relieve the emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)4 and will most likely be studied for other disorders of the brain including but not limited to major depression and Alzheimer's disease.

Why Krill Oil is More Effective than Fish Oil for the Brain

"The oil extracted from Antarctic krill is far from just another source of omega-3," says Dr. Sampalis. One reason is that the omega 3 fatty acids in krill are in phospholipid (vs. triglyceride in fish) form. Phospholipids are the building blocks of life; the basic constituents of the cell membrane that envelops each cell in your body and brain. Thus, the omega-3s in krill oil can cross the blood-brain barrier and easily penetrate the cells. (Fish oil's omega-3s must be converted by the body in two difficult steps, making the omega-3s about 30% less bioavailable.) "Phospholipids are also a source of choline, which is a highly important molecule that composes the neurotransmitter acerylcholine. This is what makes phospholipids so important for your brain and nervous system," she explains. Dr. Sampalis adds that there are other phospholipid products on the market, but krill oil is the only one whose fatty acid profiles are optimized for the human brain.

When You Want the Best for Your Body and Brain

Make it genuine Neptune Krill Oil (NKO™): the richest form of omega-3 ever seen in science. It's sold by several different companies under their own labels. Just look for the NKO trademark when you buy. Explore this site to learn all about krill oil and the amazing range of health benefits it may hold for you1. Truly, no fish oil and no other krill oil brand compares.


2 See

3 ADHD and omega 3: Preliminary studies with fish oil and krill oil yield exciting results for children and adults.

4 Sampalis F, Bunea R, Pelland MF, et al. Evaluation of the effects of Neptune krill oil on the management of premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea. Altern Med Rev 2003;8:171-79

1Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Precautions: If you are pregnant, nursing, allergic to fish or shellfish, have a blood coagulation condition, are taking anticoagulants such as warfarin, or are currently under a physician's care for a health condition, please consult a healthcare professional prior to use.

NKO™ is a trademark of its manufacturer, Neptune Technologies and Bioresources, Inc.