I'm a major believer in omega 3 fatty acids for health and well-being. This well researched nutritional has been hailed for its miraculous ability to slow the progression of many diseases including heart health, inflammatory diseases like arthritis, manage weight reduction, improve eye health, improve the quality of skin and manage some skin disorders, improve anxiety and depression, and improve attention and hyperactivity in children.
In my most recent video (here), I touched on how powerful fish oil and omega 3 fatty acids can be in treating concentration, autism, ADHD and general mood disorders in children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
Which fish oils do I recommend, what dosage and when to take it? As I touched on in my video, when it comes to fish oils, they are not created equally. In fact it's quite the opposite.
Things to consider:
1. All omega 3 oils, even the non fish sourced oils, must be kept refrigerated. Please invest in purchasing oils that have been stored in the fridge and make sure you keep them in your fridge at all times. Omega 3 fatty acids are highly unstable and quickly oxidise.
2. Dosage of these oils is dependent on the objective you are trying to achieve. If you have an inflammatory disease, let's say, psoriasis, then you would look for a fish oil that has a higher EPA amount than DHA. A child's dose is less than an adult. If you're dealing with learning difficulties or mood disorders, you will opt for a concentrated DHA oil. And start supplementing at 200mg DHA every day. Remember it can take up to 6 weeks to see changes. So stick with it. Some studies go as high as 700mg/day, which is high, but has profound effects. Always check with your health care professional for the correct dosages, but at a minimum 200mg/day for a child aged 5 is a good guide.
3. Good quality fish oil is usually obtained from small oily fish - sardines, mackerel, anchovies, Look for these on the pack. Larger fish tend to be higher in mercury content. This is a no go zone for kids!
4. When to take omega 3 (regardless of fish or plant based) - always take omega 3 oils, in fact any oils, with a main meal. Other dietary fats helps the absorption of omega 3 fatty acids. There is little point in taking this supplement with a banana or apple. Take it just before or after dinner or a hearty breakfast.
5. I have to mention, that if you are a family that consumes oily fish regularly (2-3 times a week) then this has more benefit that consuming fish oil itself. The problem is, finding good quality, non farmed, oily fish that is local to your country. I still suggest supplementing with oils even if you eat fish, if you have a specific concern. If you want to improve concentration, mood, inflammatory conditions, then you can reduce the dosage of the omega 3 fatty acids, so long as you do consume oily fish regularly.
So here are my favourite KIDS fish oils...and please remember, they don't taste like chocolate - they taste like fish oil, maybe masked a little with natural flavour. It can take a child some getting used to the taste. Finally, don't give up. Teach your child the importance of taking it, so they are more inclined to avoid resistance. Give the oil a few weeks to take effect. Your child may complain about the taste, but the reward of a focused child is well worth the effort.
Nordic Natural's have a fabulous range of fish oils, for all ages and most conditions. To be honest, it's my number one preference for kids. If you're lucky enough to live in a country where Nordic fish oils are in abundance, then most of the brands would be reputable, just because the quality of fish is superior.
The liquid form has a much higher amount of DHA only because the liquid you can control the dose, however the taste is less obvious than the capsules. Kids much prefer the taste of the capsules, you'll just need to modifiy your dosage to minimum 5 capsules. Available from most good health food stores in Australia.
The bottom two, are also Nordic fish oils, available from iHerb. These won't be delivered to you refrigerated, but if you live in a country where you can buy these from a store, then opt for that.
Also, before I forget, if you're interested in more about the prison study, here's one, but there are heaps more available through Google. The research shows that prison inmates showed significant reduction in depression and violence when their diet was supplemented with high dose DHA fish oil....I remember reading this type of research some years ago and it blew my mind!
Now, it's time for me to have lunch and take my fish oil!
I'm a lover of fine food, amazing cheese and sharing with people I love.