The Important of Fish Oil for Children
Our bodies are capable of many things, but creating it’s own Omega-3 fatty acids is unfortunately not one of them. Fish oil is a concentrated source of Omega-3 fats, and is an important supplement to include in your child’s diet. The list of benefits is long, so we’ve picked our top three favourite reasons why kids should be taking their fish oil supplements.
1. BRAIN DEVELOPMENT
Studies have shown that Omega-3 fish oils are important for a child’s developing brain, particularly DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid). Childhood is a period of brain growth and maturation, and the presence of DHA in the brain is recognised as being essential for normal brain function and neural development.
The primary growth phase for the human brain in terms of weight occurs between birth and two years of age, but certain areas of the brain continue important developmental stages throughout childhood and adolescence. Studies of DHA intake vs. brain activity have revealed favourable results in terms of cognitive abilities, planning, problem solving and learning.
2. BEHAVIOURAL CHANGES
The human brain is made up of nearly 60% fat, and a large proportion of these fats are Omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil supplementation has been shown to improve perceived hyperactivity, ADHD symptoms, impulsiveness and aggression in children. An Oxford University study showed that omega-3 in the blood increased a child’s ability to learn and behave better.
Another study was conducted in 2012 involving children from 6 to 12 years of age with ADHD. One group of children were treated with methylphenidate and standard behaviour therapy, while another group were treated with omega-3 and omega-6 supplementation. In the Omega group, there were significant improvements in restlessness, aggressiveness, completing work and academic performance. The parents of the children receiving traditional treatment however, reported no significant improvement.
DHA is important for normal, healthy eye function, particularly in the retina. Specialised proteins, necessary for sight, remove omega-3 fatty acids from our bloodstream, and deliver them to cells in our eyes. The first eight years of a child’s life are significant for visual development, so it’s important that they are getting the appropriate amount of Omega-3s for better vision and eye function.
Fish oil can also help keep reduce dry eye syndrome and help prevent age-related degeneration.