Study points to omega benefits for children
March 13, 2007
A SIMPLE dietary supplement may help improve concentration, memory and problem-solving in children.
Scans on four British children who took an omega oil supplement for three months showed their brains developed dramatically – by the equivalent of three years – over that period.
The four children in the pilot study on the effects of diet on young brains were aged between eight and 13 and were classified as overweight. They took two capsules a day of a supplement called VegEPA, which contains a combination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, found in fish, flaxseed oil and sunflower oil. They were also encouraged to cut down on fatty snacks and to exercise more.
After three months the children’s reading age had advanced by more than a year, their handwriting was neater and they paid more attention in class. The scans showed an increase in nerve fibres in their brain, said the lead researcher, Basant Puri, from London’s Imperial College. “It means you have more connections and greater density of nerve cells, in the same way a tree grows more branches,” said Professor Puri, whose study is yet to undergo peer