fish oil child

Did You Know?

Giving fish oil to your child could help emotional behavior, spelling, and reading abilities.

Fish Oil for your Child

Studies are proving that regular intake of fish oil supplements are highly beneficial to adults. Fish oil can help boost memory, improve heart health, lower blood pressure, raise good cholesterol levels while lowering triglyceride levels, and improve blood flow throughout the body. Children, however, were not studied until more recently. There is evidence now that shows children can also benefit from regular doses of Omega 3 fatty acids.

In 2005, a study was performed by Oxford University to see if Omega 3 fatty acids were also beneficial in children. A group of 117 children between the ages of five and twelve were selected. The children had some developmental disorder that affected their coordination and put them approximately a year behind their peers.

The children were split into two groups, one group received fish oil supplements for a period of six months while the other group received a placebo for the first three months and then fish oil supplements for the remaining three months. No one was told what they were taking until the end of the study.

Fish Oil to Improve your Childs Emotional Behavior

During the six months, researchers performed tests on the children's motor skills, educational skills, and emotional reactions. The belief was that the brain needs Omega 3 fatty acids to develop and thrive. Because the body cannot produce Omega 3 fatty acids, supplements are necessary. The hope was that those children on fish oil supplements would show improvement in spelling skills and reading abilities, as well as improve their coordination.

By the end of the six months, one hundred children remained in the study group and had taken all of the required placebos and/or fish oil supplements. Of these children, the ones who took Omega 3 supplements showed drastic improvements in emotional behavior, spelling, and reading abilities. The Omega 3 fatty acids did not seem to improve coordination however. The group of children who took placebos did not improve at all until the fish oil supplements were added.

Fish Oil can be more Effective than Ritalin

Additional studies are ongoing to see if fish oil supplements can also improve the behaviour of children with ADHD. Currently, there is increasing thought that Omega 3 fatty acids are safer and more effective than current medications like Ritalin. Parents who have a child diagnosed with ADHD should discuss the benefits to fish oil with their doctor and give it a try before relying on the often dangerous drugs.

In one ADHD study, a group of children aged seven to twelve were taken off their normal medications and given fish oil supplements instead. By the end of the third month, all of the children were less hyper, doing exceptionally well in school, and able to concentrate for far longer than in the past. Those on placebos showed no signs of improvement until they were switched to fish oil supplements and then they improved drastically as well.

For this reason, many world health organizations suggest parents feed their child fish at least once a week. Nevertheless, mercury poisoning is a potential threat in today's world. This is where it becomes safer to give a child fish oil supplements. Most countries hold fish oil manufacturers to high standards. Fish oil must be filtered to remove all mercury and other toxins. Parents wanting to give their child fish oil supplements should read the bottle and make sure it was produced in a country that requires all fish oil to be filtered before using in Omega 3 supplements.