As my interest grows on this blogging journey , Kiddie Cocaine Ritalin+Child= ADDiction? in my third blog i would like to discuss the effects of fish oil for children with no learning or behaviour problems. One study showed that healthy young adults who took fish oil showed improvements in attention. We do not yet know if this also happens in children.
How many children show improvements in behaviour and learning after taking fish oil, or what influences this.
Fish oils – what the research says
Omega-3 and fish oil
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for our eyes to work well and for parts of the brain used for memory, learning and reasoning. If we do not eat enough omega-3, these functions may be impaired. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid found in fish and seafood. Many people who don’t eat much seafood choose to take fish oil supplements because they contain large amounts of omega-3. Research shows mixed results about the benefits of fish oils in children.
Can fish oil help your child?
Adolescents diagnosed with ADHD show signs of omega-3 deficiencies (e.g. thirst dry skin) and are shown to contain less omega-3 in their blood than a adolescent without ADHD.
There is some evidence that increasing omega-3 levels reduces the severity of ADHD-type behaviour, such as inattention, in some children. However, not all fish oil studies have shown improvements in ADHD-type behaviour. There are not enough good quality studies for us to be sure of its benefit.
Some children with reading difficulties have shown major improvement in their reading after taking fish oil, but again,
The effects of fish oil for children with no learning or behaviour problems. One study showed that healthy young adults who took fish oil showed improvements in attention. . There seems to be benefits for some children, but more research is needed to confirm this.
Are there any side-effects from taking fish oil?
Fish oil is generally considered safe.
Sometimes after consuming high levels of fish oil can result in people having a upset stomach, a fishy aftertaste but there are flavoured fish-oils (orange,strawberry,berry)
Sometimes the population who take fish oil incur side-effects could possibly include feeling sick, diarrhoea, or a skin irritation.
High doses of fish oil can sometimes result in altercations of bleeding in some people.
Should my child take fish oil?
Your child should NOT take fish oils if they:
Note: If your child has ADHD and is taking medication, they can also take fish oil. Speak to your child’s doctor about this before you start. Fish oil should not be used instead of your child’s usual medication without discussing with a doctor first.
For more information
Kids Health Info factsheet: ADHD – Stimulant medication