Can you give an omega-3 supplement to children?
Keeping your kids (or grandkids!) healthy and active is priority number 1 for parents. This is, of course, a multi-faceted topic (and one that can be a source of heated conversation!) But one thing most can agree on is that no matter the lifestyle or location of your family, it’s often the little things that matter most. These little things can be anything from limiting screen time to starting a “weekly family hike” tradition (or a weekly gratitude jar!). When coupled with healthy dietary choices at home, the little things can make all the difference.
After all, it’s hard to make progress towards health when each positive action is followed by a negative one.
Today we’re talking about one little thing you can do to give the children in your life an extra edge — ensure they are getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. Omega-3s are a critical part of a child’s diet, as they help the body — and the brain — develop to their full abilities. We’ve talked about omega-3s and kids before, but wanted to break down some specific potential benefits and the studies behind them.
The lowdown on omega-3’s and children
Kids need omega-3s just like adults do. If you’re on top of a healthy diet for your children, they’re likely getting a lot of greens (no matter how much they may complain about them!). This is great, because many vegetables contain ALA, an essential fatty acid. So do nuts, vegetable oils, and seeds.
The thing is, their body needs to convert the ALA into active omega-3 forms DHA and EPA in order to process it for its nutritional and developmental benefits.
But both DHA and EPA are present in fatty fish such as salmon and New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel oil. An omega-3 marine-based supplement can give your kids the benefit of these essential fatty acids to complement an already healthy diet.
The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for children
- Reduced ADHD symptoms — Omega-3 supplements can reduce symptoms of ADHD — That’s right. The infamous ADHD, responsible for hyperactive behavior in millions of children around the world, is frequently treated by prescribed stimulants aiming to help the child focus. A study from the National Library of Medicine looked into the impact on ADHD. “Baseline and follow-up assessments addressed ADHD symptoms, FMRI of cognitive control, urine homovanillic acid, and cheek cell phospholipid sampling,” the study noted with conclusions finding that, “EPA/DHA supplementation improved parent-rated attention in both children with ADHD and typically developing children.”
- Benefits for kids with asthma — The US National Library of Medicine looked into the impacts of omega-3s on kids with asthma, and whether or not the fatty acids had any impact on symptoms or severity. “The present results suggest that dietary supplementation with fish oil rich in the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid is beneficial for children with bronchial asthma in a strictly controlled environment in terms of inhalant allergens and diet,” the study found. The general synopsis noted that, while an Omega-3 supplement isn’t going to come in and knock asthma out of the park, it can have an impact on the severity of symptoms, helping the child to have an easier time dealing with them.
- Impact on brain development and health — The US National Library of Medicine continued its dive into omega-3s with a study on how they may impact brain development in children. According to their research on healthy, school-aged children, among others, omega-3s “may enhance cognitive performance relating to learning, cognitive development, memory and speed of performing cognitive tasks.”
The big one
While the studies cited above are incredibly exciting, perhaps the biggest news discovered by the US National Library of Medicine regarding our supplement, GLX3, related to our specific main active ingredient — New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel Oil. This study looked specifically at whether or not green-lipped mussels could have a positive impact on ADHD in kids, as a standalone from other forms of omega-3s.
The study started with some background info — noting that between 5% and 12% of kids have ADHD, and that those who do, “have lower blood levels of long-chain Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids (LC PUFAs) compared with children without ADHD.” A Green Lipped Mussel supplement was used to study whether or not the supplement could balance the PUFA levels in the children participating in the study.
The initial results were positive!
“It is this unique combination of marine lipids that may assist in correcting the decreased levels of LC PUFA levels in children with symptoms of ADHD,” the study said.
It looks as though omega-3s could be a little thing that your child needs as part of their healthy lifestyle and diet. The bonus? There are no shots or funky dissolvable tablets required!