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Omega 3 – Food for thought…

31 Jan., 2014

Our children are our greatest treasure and their health and proper development is of the greatest importance to us. From the early stage of pregnancy, we strive to provide them the nutrition they need most. One such nutritional need which the body must receive from external sources and has been found to be of great importance is Omega 3.

The latest research reveals more about the importance of Omega 3 and DHA for kids.

Omega 3 belongs to the group of Essential Fatty Acids that the body cannot produce and so must receive from food on a regular basis (the most common natural sources of Omega 3 are Ocean fish, flax seeds and walnuts). Among Omega 3 fatty acids, research has found DHA and EPA to be of the greatest value with beneficial biological activity in several health conditions.

DHA is an important component of the brain tissue. It is of critical importance in the first developmental stages of the fetus in its mother`s womb and for young babies, needing high levels of DHA for healthy development of the brain and nervous system.

Research has also shown that DHA may have an important role in the development of healthy eye sight, contributes to the maintenance of normal brain functioning, supports good sleep and may improve literacy and behavior in children suffering from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Beyond the benefits of DHA to children with ADHD, two recent studies suggest that optimal levels of DHA have a similar effect on the general school population.
A UK based study (September 2012) examined children from mainstream schools and found evidence suggesting that DHA supplementation offers a safe and effective way to improve reading and behavior in healthy but underperforming children (1).

A more recent study performed in the UK (June 2013) showed that low DHA blood concentration in kids was associated with reduced reading ability and working memory performance. Lower DHA levels were also associated with higher levels of parent rated oppositional behavior and emotional lability (2).

A study that checked the consumption of fatty acids by children ages 4-8 found that only 22% consumed the recommended levels of EPA and DHA, pointing to a clear deficiency of Omega 3 fatty acids in kid`s diets (3).
Kids` low Omega 3 consumption is attributed, to a great extent, to local food culture, the prevalence of industrialized food, and the reluctance of kids to eat fish or fish oil. One effective way to counter these factors is by proving kids with tailored Omega 3 supplements that taste good and provide an effective dosage of Omega 3 – DHA & EPA.

EFSA claims for DHA:

  1. PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e43909
  2. PLoS One. 2013; 8(6): e66697
  3. J Nutr, 2009 Mar;139(3):528-32