Omega Fatty Acids’ Super Healthy Super Powers to Aid A Child
Omega Fatty Acids
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common childhood developmental disorder — estimated at 15% for school-age children in the United States and elsewhere. Many parents that I have spoken with over the years have expressed concerns with suppressing their child’s attention deficit through the use of medication. They were in search of a more natural way to restore balance in their child’s mind, body, and soul.
Several recent studies have discovered the untapped power possessed by the omega fatty acids. Clinical research has reported reduced blood concentrations of highly unsaturated fatty acids in children with ADHD as compared to control group subjects. Specifically, lowered amounts of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and the omega-6 arachidonic acid were detected. Low levels of omega 3s have been attributed with a spectrum of behavioral problems (anxiety, temper tantrums, sleep difficulties, hyperactivity, impulsivity, conduct disorder) as well as learning difficulties in children. Omega 6 deficiencies have been correlated with some physical deficiencies.
DHA and EPA combinations have displayed significant benefit to children with ADHD, autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia, aggression, and bipolar disorder to improve anxiety, fatigue, depression, mood swings. Measures of attention span and reaction time also improved substanially. These essential nutrients have shown to enhance the quality of life and lower the risk of premature death when not taken in excess of 3 grams/day. DHA is proven essential to pre- and postnatal brain development and as an anti-inflammatory to protect cell membrane and overall cellular function, whereas EPA appears more beneficial on behavior and mood. The studies on these essential nutrients are quite impressive and promising for continued findings that are beneficial for the central nervous system as well as for the cardiovascular system.
The most widely available foods with both EPA and DHA present include:
Douglas Haddad, is the author of parenting/child guidance book Save Your Kids…Now! The Revolutionary Guide To Helping Youth Conquer Today’s Challenges and co-author of Top Ten Tips For Tip Top Shape: Super Health Programs For All Professional Fields. He is a full-time public school teacher in Connecticut. For more information on super health topics, please visit http://www.doughaddad.com/.
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This post originally appeared on our March/April 2011 Magazine