Children's Omega 3™
The Benefits of Fish Oil for Children
Many people have heard of the benefits of supplementing their diets with fish oil. What many people don't know, however, is that fish oil can be good for children as well. The Omega 3s in fish oil can aid in problems very specific to children, as long as dosing, side effects, etc are taken into consideration.
What Are the Benefits of Fish Oil in Children?
One of the most recently discovered benefits is the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. One of the studies done found that children with an abnormally low amount of certain essential fatty acid, like those found in fish oil, had ADHD, as well as other behavioral problems, including tantrums and problems with sleeping.
Childhood asthma is another condition that has been reduced by taking fish oil, particularly bronchial asthma. Ten months of fish oil supplementation brought about significant reduction in symptoms. Researchers believe this is because the anti-inflammatory properties of the DHA and EPA in fish oil stop inflammatory cells from producing certain protein molecules. Those molecules, called cytokines, are partially responsible for asthma and its symptoms.
Additionally, fish oil helps with brain development, and the development of eyesight. Further studies are being conducted to see whether fish oil will also be beneficial to children with depression and bipolar disorder.
Fish oil helps hyperactive kids
Parents across the country have been fascinated by an intriguing experiment on the BBC's Child Of Our Time documentary.
Professor Robert Winston has been giving daily doses of fish oil supplements containing Omega 3 fatty acids to two children, each with different behavioral problems.
Three months later, the changes have been significant. One boy's aggressive behavior almost vanished and the other, once withdrawn and uncommunicative, has become popular and outgoing.
Suddenly fish oils seem the answer to all parents' problems.
The nutritional benefits of fish have always been known. During World War II, children were given cod liver oil to supplement their meager diet.
More recent research has highlighted the specific benefits to the brain of the fatty acids in fish, particularly in children with behavioral or learning difficulties.
"Fish and seafood are the only ready-made sources of the essential Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA which we need for our brains," explains Dr Alex Richardson, a neuroscience based at Oxford University.
"If we don't get them from fish, we have to build them from other, simpler forms of the fatty acids found in green leafy vegetables and some nuts and seeds.
"However, in some cases of dyslexia, dysphagia, autism and ADHD, and even depression, the brain needs more fatty acids than average, which are not being provided in the normal diet."
Fish oil improved concentration
During trials, Dr. Richardson found children with dyslexia and ADHD tendencies experienced improved concentration, decreased anxiety and a reduction in disruptive behavior, after three months of fish oils.
She admits: "We don't know the exact mechanisms of why fish oils help the brain, but they do.
"Parents should choose a fish oil that is high in EPA, rather than high in DHA.
"MorEPA, in particular, is cheaper than some other options and has the highest concentration of EPA available."
Fish oil supplements should not be confused with cod liver oil supplements which, when taken at the high doses needed to help with dyslexia and ADHD, may actually cause an overdose of Vitamin A in the body.
It is also more likely that the liver of the fish will contain more pollutants and toxins than the oils from the body of the fish.
For any parents wondering if their children have a deficiency of fatty acids, tell-tale signs are dry and lackluster skin and hair, dry bumpy skin at the top of the arms and weak, brittle nails.
Dr Richardson adds: "A lot more research needs to be done, but I hope that enough clinical trials have taken place for doctors to be able to prescribe Omega 3.
"In the meantime, I don't want people to think it is a miracle cure. For most children, a healthy diet rich in fish and leafy vegetables will provide all the nutrients they need."
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.