The sheer amount of media attention surrounding fish oil for kids has highlighted how important it is for us to make sure our children have it in their diets. So could fish oil really help our kids? And what exactly does it help to achieve?
The Daily Mail was one of many newspapers to cover the results of trials which have been conducted on kids and fish oil. Theses trials showed significantly beneficial results in helping children who suffer from hyperactivity. These new studies, from the University of Adelaide in Australia, have shown significant improvement in children, such as improved concentration, and brainpower.
Half of a group of seven to twelve year olds with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder were given fish oils, while the other half were given placebo pills. There was shown improvement after three months in the children taking the fish oil capsules. They showed improvement in their school work and concentration, as well as reduced restlessness. There was a 30 to 40 percent improvement in children over 15 weeks, and after 30 weeks improvement was noted in up to 50 per cent of the children.
This trial and others have sparked off extensive media coverage on fish oils, and not only on its general health benefits, but also how it can help kids with hyperactivity disorders. Drugs such as Ritalin are quite often prescribed to children suffering from these disorders. These drugs often carry dangerous side effects, such as heart problems and even strokes. The Daily Mail reported that around 330,000 prescriptions for these drugs are written out each year in the UK for children with hyperactivity. This is a staggering amount and is rising each year, so could fish oils be the answer?
Studies that have been conducted so far do seem to suggest that taking supplements of fish oils such as Omega 3 could be an alternative to taking these drugs. The attraction of fish oils is that they carry no known side effects, and are a natural alternative for children. Many parents are more attracted to the hope of fish oils to help their children, as they are much safer with less or no side effects, and could have the same affect on helping to treat symptoms associated with ADHD, and other similar conditions.
Drugs such as Ritalin have caused the deaths of nine British children, and caused strokes, swelling of the brain, and heart attacks in others the Daily Mail reported. This reason alone is why many parents are now willing to try fish oils to help their children, instead of putting their child at risk with drugs such as Ritalin.
Omega 3 is not only beneficial to children with ADHD, but also for every other child. Omega 3 contains two essential fatty acids called EPA and DHA which are important for the body to keep healthy. They help to keep the heart and cardiovascular system healthy but they also help to boost brainpower. They have also shown in trials to help aid concentration, and even help to improve intelligence.
Clinical trials have shown that fish oils are just as important for children as well for adults, to keep healthy. Omega 3’s essential fatty acids EPA and DHA can not be made by the body so have to be obtained through diet or supplementation.