World Mental Healthcare Association

A Mother’s Diet During Pregnancy May Modulate ADHD Risk In Kids: Study

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Brain News – New study showed that maternal diet during pregnancy may modulate the risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. Association found between omega-6:omega-3 ratio in the umbilical cord and the appearance of ADHD symptoms.

The researchers monitored 600 children across four Spanish regions (Asturias, Basque Country, Catalonia, and Valencia) to analyze the umbilical cord plasma samples and quantify the levels of omega-6 and omega-3 that reach the fetus. They assessed the additional data related to ADHD symptoms from two sets of questionnaires completed by the children’s parents at the age of seven and the children’s teachers at the age of four. The study findings showed that ADHD symptoms in kids increased by 13% with a high omega-6:omega-3 ratio in the umbilical cord plasma.

Results showed that the ratio of the two fatty acids is interlinked with the number of ADHD symptoms present in the child only in the assessment carried out at the age of seven. The researchers later also cautioned that the assessment taken at the age of four might include a measurement error as ADHD symptoms developed at early ages may be triggered by a neurodevelopmental delay.

“Our findings are in line with previous studies that established a relationship between the omega-6:omega-3 ratio in mothers and various early neurodevelopmental outcomes,” commented Mónica López-Vicente, lead author of the study published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

“If a large proportion of the population is exposed to a high omega-6:omega-3 ratio, the distribution for ADHD symptom scores would likely move to the right and the prevalence of extreme values would increase, leading to a negative impact on the community’s health costs and productivity,” said Mónica.

The study explains the importance of the maternal diet during pregnancy and its role in preventing neurodevelopmental disorders.

To Know More You May Refer To:

López-Vicente, M., Ribas Fitó, N., Vilor-Tejedor, N., Garcia-Esteban, R., Fernández-Barrés, S., Dadvand, P., Murcia, M., Rebagliato, M., Ibarluzea, J., Lertxundi, A., Fernández-Somoano, A., Tardón, A., López-Sabater, M. C., Romaguera, D., Vrijheid, M., Sunyer, J., & Julvez, J. (2019). Prenatal omega-6:omega-3 ratio and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder symptoms. The Journal of Pediatrics, 209, 204-211.e4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2019.02.022

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