A New Study Shows Omega 3 Gives Kids More Than Just a Brainy Boost

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A new study links Omega 3 levels with cognitive performance and behaviour in school-aged children. That’s why Life Science Nutritionals (LSN), the makers of IronKids Omega 3 Gummies for kids, wants to remind parents and teachers the importance of Omega 3 as kids return to school this fall.

IronKids Omega 3 Gummy Vitamins

IronKids Omega 3 Gummy Vitamins

We remind our kids to eat their fruits and vegetables, and drink their milk, but forget that they also need two servings of fatty fish or the equivalent in supplements every week.

A new study links Omega 3 levels with cognitive performance and behaviour in school-aged children. That’s why Life Science Nutritionals (LSN), the makers of IronKids Omega 3 Gummies for kids, wants to remind parents and teachers the importance of Omega 3 as kids return to school this fall.

The study, published in PLOS ONE in June 2013, revealed that children with low blood concentrations of Omega 3 scored lower on standardized tests for reading ability and working memory than children with adequate levels. As well, the study revealed that these children experienced more behavioural problems.

“We remind our kids to eat their fruits and vegetables, and drink their milk, but forget that they also need two servings of fatty fish or the equivalent in supplements every week,” says registered dietitian and LSN health consultant, Jackie McKenzie who isn’t surprised that fish have fallen off the menu given the shift toward convenience food.

It has long been understood that Omega 3 fatty acids play key roles in normal brain development and functioning. Omega 3 is called an “essential” fatty acid because we need it to stay healthy, but our bodies can’t produce it meaning it must be acquired from outside sources, such as diet or Omega 3 supplements.

The importance of adequate intakes of long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids during infancy and childhood is often underestimated. It is especially important for kids to get enough Omega 3's for their brain, eyes and nervous system. Inadequate intakes not only affect children’s physical development, but their emotional and intellectual development as well.

“Omega 3’s play a key role in the development of the brain, eyes, and nervous system and have been shown to improve literacy in healthy children,” says McKenzie. “Omega 3’s may decrease the development of allergies and respiratory illness as well as improve behavioural symptoms in ADHD.”

The study shows a strong correlation between Omega 3 and cognition. It concluded that low Omega 3 contributes to a “wide range of physical and mental health disorders”, including “common childhood behavior and learning difficulties such as ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia and related conditions.”

Many components of our diet are known to affect cognition and influence learning. However, this study is interesting because it shows a potential favourable role for Omega 3 fatty acids supplementation to improve performance in reading or memory for struggling students.

“Children with poor reading skills often become overwhelmed and disinterested,” says McKenzie. “Improving nutrition by supplementing with Omega 3 may be a good place to start for those children with learning difficulties in our school system.”

The recommended daily intake of Omega 3 fatty acids varies widely, but a good guideline for both children and adults is 2 servings of fatty fish per week. For children who dislike eating fish, aim for the equivalent in fish oil supplements.

About IronKids Omega 3 Gummy Vitamins

IronKids Omega-3 gummies are Canada’s #1 Omega 3 vitamin for kids and the winner of the Best New Product Award. Specially formulated with pure source DHA and EPA essential fatty acids, IronKids Omega 3 gummies are made with only natural flavors and colors. All the IronKids Gummy Vitamins are Health Canada approved.

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Deborah Lowther
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