Omega Blood Count - The optimal measure of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
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Omega Child

Omega-3 is important in all stages of life but especially in the early stages when it can influence infant development. Omega-3 is safe in pregnancy for both the foetus and the mother but in the US concerns over mercury content in fish has led to recommendations that women of childbearing years modify their fish consumption.

  • Supplementation with Omega-3 during pregnancy reduces the incidence of food allergy and eczema in childhood. Acta Paediatr. 2009 Sep;98(9):1461-7. Epub 2009 Jun 1
  • Fish oil supplementation in pregnancy and lactation may decrease the risk of infant allergy. Furuhjelm C, Warstedt K, Larson J, Fredriksson M, Böttcher MF, Fälth-Magnussun K, Duchén K. It is also associated with improved hand eye coordination assessed at age 2. Nutr Health. 2007;19(1-2):57-60
  • Attention deficit disorders – drugs or nutrition? Matsudaira T.
  • Several trials of early Omega-3 supplementation found there was improvement in neurodevelopment including IQ in those who received Omega-3. Aberg MA, Aberg N, Brisman J, et al. Fish intake of Swedish male adolescents is a predictor of cognitive performance. Acta Paediatr. 2009;98(3):555-60.
  • Early use of Omega-3 in the first year of life significantly reduces the risk of type one diabetes. Journal of the American Medical Association 26 September 2007, Volume 298, Number 12, Pages 1420-1428

“Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Intake and Islet Autoimmunity in Children at Increased Risk for Type 1 Diabetes”

Authors: Jill M. Norris, X. Yin, M.M. Lamb, K. Barriga, J. Seifert, M. Hoffman, H.D. Orton. A.E. Baron, M. Clare-Salzler, H.P. Chase, N.J. Szabo, H. Erlich

  • Early supplementation has also been shown to reduce the frequency of visits to the doctor with respiratory infections Nutritional supplements as adjunctive therapy for children with chronic/recurrent sinusitis: pilot research international journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, Volume 68, Issue 6, Pages 785-793.
  • Development and behaviour appear to be markedly influenced by Omega-3 status with research showing a correlation between Omega-3 levels at birth and behaviour at age 7. Relationship between DHA status at birth and child problem behaviour at 7 years of age. Prostglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids. Volume 76, Issue 1, Pages 29-34. L. Krabbendam, E. Bakker, G. Hornstra, J. Van Os.
  • The Oxford Durham study found significant improvements in reading, spelling and behaviour with Omega-3 supplements. Pediatrics Vol. 115 No. 5 May 2005, pp. 1360-1366 (doi:10.1542/peds.2004-2164)

The Oxford-Durham Study: A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Dietary Supplementation With Fatty Acids in Children With Development Coordination Disorder. Alexandra J. Richardson, Dphil(Oxon) and Paul Montgomery, DPhil(Oxon)

  • A Swedish study found a correlation between fish intake and intelligence as measured by three different scores. This was independent of educational experience. Acta Paediatr. 2009 Mar;98(3):555-60. Epub 2008 Oct 29
  • Fish intake of Swedish male adolescents is a predictor of cognitive performance. Aberg MA, Aberg N, Brisman J, Sundberg R, Winkvist A, Torén K.
  • Omega-3 levels are low in children with attention deficit (Stevens L, Zentall S, Deck J et al. Essential fatty acid metabolism in boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Am J Clin Nut 1995; 62:761-768) and supplementation can improve core symptoms of ADHD, especially those in the inattentive group. Johnson M, Ostlund S, Fransson G, et al. Omega-3/Omega-6 fatty acids for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised placebo-controlled trial in children and adolescents. J Atten Disord. 2009;12(5):394-401. Children with depression have also been shown to respond to Omega-3 (Nemets H, Nemets B, Apter A, et al. Omega-3 Treatment of Childhood Depression: A Controlled, Double-Blind Pilot Study. Am J Psychiatry, 2006;163:1098-1100) which is important given the potentially serious side effects of standard depression treatments.