Omega-3's improve behaviour in children

May 4, 2005 in Nutrition for Children and Teenagers, Nutrition Topics in the News

Omega-3's improve behaviour in children

In a study of over 100 children, researchers from the University in Oxford in the UK have found that fatty acids, specifically omega-3 fatty acids, are capable of reducing the educational and behavioral problems associated with developmental coordination disorder (DCD).

In the study, researchers randomly assigned a dietary supplement with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids or inactive placebo capsules to children with DCD between the ages of 5 and 12. The study found that supplementing the diet with fatty acids led to highly significant improvements in reading, spelling and overall behaviour. In addition, symptoms typical of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, including hyperactivity and impulse behavior fell dramatically.

Researchers claimed that the effects seen with the fatty acid supplementation were similar to those achieved by medication. In fact, three months into the study, the placebo group switched to active treatment for an additional three months.

While these results are promising, researchers conclude further studies are needed to see whether the same results can be achieved in similar studies.

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