Is Omega-3 Safe For Your Kids? Find Out Here!

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Is Omega-3 Safe For Your Kids?

An omega-3 fatty acid-rich diet is essential to maintaining health.

It is especially important to consume these fats while children are growing and developing, as these fats play a key role in growth and development and are associated with various health benefits. [1]

Most parents would like to know if omega-3 supplements are safe for their children – or whether they are even necessary.

To determine if omega-3 supplements are right for kids, this article examines the benefits, side effects, and dosage recommendations.

Omega-3s: what are they?

These fatty acids contribute to fetal development, brain function, immunity, and heart health. [2]

Because they cannot be produced by your body, they must be ingested. To maintain good health, it is essential to consume essential fatty acids.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the three primary types of ALA, EPA, and DHA.

A wide array of plant foods contains ALA, including vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. However, it remains inactive in the body, and your body converts it into active forms only in very small amounts, including DHA and EPA.

You can also purchase supplements containing EPA and DHA. Natural sources of both are salmon, mackerel, and tuna.

Fish oil, krill oil, and algae oil are some of the most common omega-3 supplements.

Outline

Fats of the omega-3 type are essential to health in several ways. Three types of omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods and supplements: ALA, EPA, and DHA.

The benefits of omega-3 supplements for kids

Several studies have indicated that omega-3 supplements are beneficial for kids.

Improves symptoms of ADHD

Hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and difficulty focusing are symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Children may benefit from omega-3 supplements to reduce the symptoms of ADHD.

Study after study has reported improvements in memory and hyperactivity, all disorders often associated with ADHD, when omega-3 fatty acids are added.

Taking omega-3 supplements daily for 16 weeks significantly enhanced attention in children with and without ADHD.

Children with ADHD can benefit from supplements containing fish oil and dietary changes, according to an analysis of 52 studies.

Reduces asthma symptoms

Chest pain, breathing difficulties, coughing and wheezing are some of the symptoms of asthma, a chronic condition that affects children and adults.

These symptoms may be relieved by omega-3 fatty acid supplements, according to some studies.

An experiment in 29 children over 10 months found that taking 120 mg of DHA and EPA together each day helped reduce asthma symptoms.

Researchers found that a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids was associated with reduced indoor air pollution symptoms in a second study with 135 children.

Children with lower asthma risk may benefit from consuming omega-3 fatty acids, according to other studies.

Improves sleep quality

In children under the age of 18, nearly 4% experience sleep disorders.

Low blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids were associated with sleep disorders in a study of 395 children. Furthermore, supplementing over 16 weeks with 600 mg of DHA decreased sleep interruptions and increased sleep by nearly 1 hour.

During pregnancy, omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial for improving sleep patterns in babies.

To understand how omega-3s affect children’s sleep, more high-quality studies are needed.

Improves brain health

The latest research suggests omega-3 fatty acids could assist children’s mental health and brain development, especially about learning and memory.

The verbal learning ability and memory of 183 children who consumed a spread high in omega-3 fatty acids improved after six months.

The prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain responsible for attention, impulse control, and planning, has also been linked to increased DHA intake in a small 8-week study carried out on 33 boys.

Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to prevent depression and mood disorders in children, according to several studies.

Outline

The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have been found to include enhancement of brain function, improved sleep, and improved ADHD and asthma symptoms.

Potential side effects of omega-3 for your kids

Supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, usually have very mild side effects. Among the most common are:

For reduced risk of side effects, keep your kid on the recommended dosage. Starting with a lower dose, they can be increased gradually as they become accustomed to it.

Anyone with an allergy to fish or shellfish should not consume fish oil or any other fish-based supplement.

You should instead choose foods or supplements rich in omega-3s, such as flaxseeds and algae.

Outline

There are mild side effects associated with omega-3 supplements, such as bad breath, headaches, and digestion problems. For people allergic to fish or shellfish, you should only take the recommended dosage.

The recommended dosage of omega-3 for children

The amount of omega-3 you need daily depends on your age and gender. You should follow the directions on the package if you’re using supplements.

Only ALA has a specific dosage recommendation. ALA should be consumed daily by children at the following levels:

AgeDosage
0–12 months0.5 grams
1–3 years0.7 grams
4–8 years0.9 grams
Girls 9–13 years1.0 grams
Boys 9–13 years1.2 grams
Girls 14–18 years1.1 grams
Boys 14–18 years1.6 grams

You can easily supplement your child’s diet with omega-3s by adding fish, nuts, seeds, and plant oils.

In the case of children who do not regularly consume fish or other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, supplements can be beneficial.

A combination of 120–1,300 mg of DHA and EPA daily is recommended for children in most studies.

Before giving your child supplements, consult a healthcare professional to prevent any adverse effects.

Outline

Children of different ages and genders require different amounts of omega-3. Children can meet their omega-3 needs by eating foods rich in omega-3. A medical practitioner should be consulted before giving supplements to children.

The bottom line

You should provide your child with omega-3 fatty acids to maintain his or her health.

Kids’ brain health benefits greatly from omega-3 fatty acids. As well as reducing symptoms of ADHD and asthma, they may improve sleep quality.

You should make sure that your child is getting enough omega-3 fatty acids by providing him with plenty of food. You should consult a healthcare professional to determine the right dosage if you choose to take supplements.

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