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DHA for Kids

I’m sure it no surprise that you have heard the buzz about DHA/Omega-3/fish oil supplementation for our kids! It has become a known supplement that is important to include in our daily routine. But, why exactly is it important for our children? What kind of fish oil is best? On the blog today, we are going to go into the nitty gritty on everything you need to know about fish oil supplements for kids.


What is Omega-3 (DHA)?

Omega-3 fatty acids are considered Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). They are essential because our bodies cannot produce them, instead we must get the fatty acids from our diet. These fats are incredibly important as they make up every single cell in our body! Two common types of omega-3 are known as EPA (eicosapentaenoicacid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

 

In order to get enough omega-3 from our diet we would need to consume salmon or sardines a couple times a week and our bodies would need to properly absorb the fish in order to obtain the value of the oils. Therefore, most children do not get enough omega-3 in their daily diet. So consuming a fish oil supplement is key for our children’s health!


What are the benefits of DHA in fish oil?

There are a multitude of benefits of fish oil, especially for our children. Here is a list of benefits:
• Supports healthy brain development
• Supports growth and development
• Helps to improve vision acuity
• Helps to treat skin concerns (ie. eczema)
• Helps with mood disorders (ie. anxiety, depression)
• Helps children with ADHD

 

DHA, in particular, has been shown to help with brain development in our children. A study done at Oxford University showed higher levels of DHA helped with reading, memory and behavioral problems. Therefore, looking for a supplement with higher DHA than EPA is important for children!


How to choose a good fish oil?

There are a few things to look out for when purchasing a good quality fish oil. The first is the type of fish that is in the product – look for sources of small fish such as anchovies and sardines. The second is making sure the fish oil is in triglyceride (TG) form as this is the form commonly found naturally in fish. If the supplement is in ethyl ester form it is not found in nature and can only be created through chemical synthesis (therefore this ethyl ester form is cheaper!).

 

So as you can see, fish oil is a great way to provide some extra support to our little ones! As always, talk to your doctor before supplementing with fish oil.


"Taking Omega-3 Every Day Could Help Children Who Have Poor Reading Skills". Mail Online. N.p., 2016. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.


About the author:

Dr. Samina Mitha, ND
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