Researchers at Melbourne’s Swinburne University believe they have found a natural treatment which could help children suffering from ADHD.
In the clean, clear waters of New Zealand lies the green-lipped mussel, which contains anti-inflammatory and joint-protecting properties through the high amount of Omega-3 fatty acids found in them.
For some time, Melbourne researchers believed a supplement made from the mussels, marketed in Australia as Lyprinol, could also help children suffering from ADHD.
Swinburne University lead researcher Professor Con Stough said the team found a 34 percent improvement in bad behaviour at home, a 13 percent improvement in attention and a 10 percent improvement in hyperactivity.
“We randomised 144 children with hyperactivity or inattention, and these are behaviours that would be causing them a lot of trouble in school… into two groups. One, which they took Lyprinol for 14 weeks, or the other was a placebo for 10 weeks,” Professor Stough told A Current Affair.
The study gave children between three and four Lyprinol capsules each day, which cost families less than $20 a week.
Sam Wetherill participated in the very first Lyprinol trial at 14 years old.
He’s now 19 and says the natural treatment, which was taken alongside his other medications, made a huge difference.
“I felt like a had a lot more clarity, a lot more focus at school. I never understood that I was different to a lot of other kids until I started taking medication,” he said.
Mr Wetherill’s mother, Jacquie, noticed the difference as well.
“Sam was a very challenging child at five and particularly before his ADHD was diagnosed. He was very hyperactive, very impulsive, spoke incessantly and was just all over the place,” Ms Wetherill said.
“I was very comfortable adding Lyprinol to our regime of treatment for Sam and I would say it just adds that extra little bit of improvement and so we’ve continued with it over the years.”
“I was looking at the survey results from the study and I was really pleased to see that it was so effective for children that were on no other medication.”
Dr Ross Walker recommends parents check with their GP before taking their children off prescribed medication, but does find the results to be worthwhile.
“It is showing some very good improvement in a whole range of different areas,” Dr Walker said.
“Firstly, in the area of behaviour. The parents are reporting over a 30-percent improvement in behaviour. Attention, there’s a significant improvement in attention by the children. In hyperactivity, which is another component of ADHD, there is some improvement there. And then in learning, there is a reasonable benefit in learning as well.”
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