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Benefits of Omega-3 Supplements for Kids

Nutrition is fundamental for any age, particularly for children. For their growth and development, providing them with the right and essential nutrients is deemed to be the most important things to practice. Children are required with sufficient nutrition to stay healthy and strong as they grow up. It can also help provide the groundwork for healthy eating habits and nutritional knowledge that your child can use throughout their lives. For this reason, there are several vitamins and minerals that the children need, which makes the intake of omega-3 supplements necessary as well in this case.

Omega-3 fatty acids are part of those vital elements that compose a healthy diet. These essential fats are especially necessary for children’s growth and development, given that they are linked to a variety of health advantages as well. From being able to support brain growth and brain function, address symptoms of ADHD, reduce asthma, to being able to improve the sleep of the children. They are also necessary for fetal development, brain function, heart health, and immunity, among other things. Actually, essential fatty acids are those that your body cannot make on its own and must have from meals.

Best Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, if not for the omega-3 supplements themselves, would be the oily fish, particularly in terms of the food sources. They are important elements for healthy growth and development in children, and are deemed to be generally safe. Plant sources such as flaxseed can also provide omega-3s as well. Parents are just letting their children consume the omega-3 supplements if they do not like eating fish. This approach still provides the same health benefits to children, as it carries the same properties as those of the food sources as well.

There are actually three main types of omega-3 fatty acids — alpha-linolenic acid (ALA); eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is also referred to as an “essential fatty acid.” The human body is not able to make this fatty acid on their own, which means they have to get it from food sources. Some plant foods, such as flaxseed, walnuts, and canola oil, contain ALA. EPA and DHA can be made in our bodies from ALA, but the process is inefficient. Fish and their oils contain DHA and EPA. But then, you can also get them from eating other seafood, and even some algae.

Vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are required for a healthy, functioning body in both children and adults. These nutrients are also important for children’s growth and development. Kids are required to have omega-3 fatty acids. Just as they do for other essential nutrients for growth and development, such as vitamin D, iron, and calcium.

Support Brain Growth and Brain Function

In order for children to be able to grasp the improvements in brain functioning and development, it is essential for them to be given a sufficient amount of omega-3 supplements while growing up. Though growth continues throughout childhood and adolescence, the brain grows at its fastest from birth to about 2 years old. DHA, in particular, is known to be necessary for proper brain function. It is then responsible for the improvement of membrane fluidity, allowing nerve impulses or messages to be transmitted more effectively. And according to studies, DHA appears to sustain normal IQ while also preserving learning and memory.

In fact, over 60% of the brain is made up of fat. With the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA accounting for around 10-15% of this. During the brain’s growth surge, DHA is required for the development of the sensory, perceptual, cognitive, and motor neural (nerve) systems. Planning, problem solving, and focused attention are all thought to be facilitated by DHA-rich areas of the brain.

Address Symptoms of ADHD

Attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder, in which its symptoms are usually being experienced by children. It is linked to symptoms like hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and difficulty focusing. Thus, for its treatment and prevention, there is a high desire for an alternative treatment. It is primarily because stimulant medication can cause significant side effects and intolerance. And according to research, those who suffer from ADHD have lower levels of omega-3 in their blood than those who do not.

Although fish oil is not a medication for ADHD, some evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish or plants may help children with the illness improve their symptoms. If your child has been diagnosed with this condition, it is important to talk to your doctor about it.

Reduce Asthma

Asthma is a chronic condition that can be most likely developed in children. It causes symptoms like chest pain, breathing difficulties, coughing, and wheezing. Some studies show that in some cases, the intake of omega-3 supplements can help relieve the symptoms. For instance, a 10-month research has found that taking supplements containing 120 mg of mixed DHA and EPA regularly has reduced asthma symptoms in children. Other research indicates a correlation between omega-3 fatty acids and a decreased risk of asthma in children.

Furthermore, early introduction of fish to children between 6-9 months of age, combined with regular fish consumption for at least once per week as the child grows has been demonstrated to reduce asthma symptoms. While these trials focused on fish eating, it is still worth asking a pediatrician about omega-3 supplements for kids with asthma who do not eat fish on a regular basis.

Improve Their Sleep

Usually, children tend to have a difficult time sleeping, which then leads to behavioral issues during the day. Most parents find this hard as well. It is because the majority of them seeking measures to ensure their children have a decent night’s sleep. Some studies have shown how omega-3 supplements can be of help in addressing this issue. The findings revealed that poor sleep is linked to decreased DHA levels in the blood. DHA supplementation reduced the number of nighttime interruptions while also providing 58 minutes more sleep per night on average.

Key Takeaway

Though there are still limitations with regards to how completely effective omega-3 supplements are for children, it is still undeniably beneficial in some cases. As much as children need the essential vitamins and minerals growing up, they also need these fatty acids for healthier growth, development, and brain function. This makes including such food sources to a child’s diet an essential practice to follow. Particularly if they are not recommended to consume those supplements. Providing a variety of omega-3-rich foods can help your child reach their daily requirements. And if you are to opt for supplements, it would be best if you consult with a healthcare professional. You have to ensure the proper dosage for it.

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