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How Do Omega-3 Fatty Acids Work?
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to our body, so it’s a given that there’s many benefits of omega-3 supplements for your kids. One of the most important benefits is that omega-3 fatty acids seem to have an anti-inflammatory effect. A lot of diseases are linked to an inflammatory process and omega-3 fatty acids can combat this.
Many children are lacking EPA and DHA, both which are the omega-3 essential fatty acids that are found in fish oil. The nutrients are highly vital to the building blocks of child development and play major roles in every aspect of a child’s health, from brain to eye function. It also known that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids are linked to improved cardiovascular health, while on the other hand, lower levels of omega-3 are linked to increased rates of hypertension and higher risk of heart attack.
These omega-3 fatty acids are critical to the body’s structural cell membranes. When consumed, these omega-3 fatty acids get accumulated in certain parts of the body and enrich them. They also help in creating a source of energy for a cell.
So here are some of the major reasons why you should give omega-3 supplements to your kids:
1. Brain Health
Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA are both linked to increased brain health. DHA is highly important for early brain development and maintenance and EPA is closely related to behavior and mood. Together, DHA and EPA provide very important protective benefits. These benefits are important for the prevention of age-related brain shrinkage (cortical atrophy).
Studies also show that children with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood stream experience brain benefits such as better cognition, larger grey matter volume relative to their age group, fewer signs of blood flow disturbances, and much lower rates of dementia, compared to other children with lower omega-3 fatty acid levels.
It also has been shown that children with lower levels of DHA have poorer scores on cognition tests, have smaller brain volumes, and higher levels of “white matter hyperintensity” (also called leukoaraiosis), which is linked to accelerated brain aging.
One very important way that omega-3 fatty acids help a child is by protecting the chief memory processing center of the brain, the hippocampus. Patients with depression usually experience rapid shrinking of their hippocampus and many strategies on relieving depression is to increase the cell growth in the hippocampus. There’s now evidence that by increasing omega-3 intake, especially DHA, may be an effective method to combat depression, by protecting the hippocampus from shrinkage.
Kids with ADHD usually have lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids than normal. Some small studies have showed that omega-3 supplements may help in improving behavior, reduce hyperactivity, and boost a child’s attention and ability to focus.
In other words, by giving your child omega-3 supplements, you will help their brain development in many ways from better test scores (due to better cognition and higher volumes of grey matter), better memory recall (due to less hippocampus shrinkage), and help prevent depression.
2. Heart/Cardiovascular Health
Studies have shown that children that take omega-3 supplements twice a week have lower rates and chance of heart disease. One study even found that omega-3 from supplements or food cut the risk of cardiovascular disease by 32%.
As stated in the beginning, one of the main benefits of omega-3 is anti-inflammation, and this benefit can be seen with children who experience asthma. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in the airways. In one small study of 29 children with asthma found that taking omega-3 supplements for 10 months had fewer symptoms of asthma than children who did not take supplements. However, some studies have not found consistent evidence that omega-3 fatty acids help children with asthma. More research needs to be done before we know exactly.
3. Eye Health
Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA, are found in maternal breast milk and sometimes are even added to supplemented infant formulas. Omega-3 help to stimulate vision development in infants. According to an analysis of several studies conducted by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health, they found that healthy pre-term infants who were fed DHA-supplemented formula showed significantly better visual acuity at just 2 to 4 months of age compared to pre-term infants who were not fed formula with omega-3 supplements.
Good amounts of DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids in the diet of pregnant women also showed to be important in the vision development of infants.
There are many benefits to giving your child omega-3 supplements such as brain development, heart support, and eye development. Many of the benefits come with very little side effects, most of which are minor and insignificant. To get started on a better future and better health for your child, you can order our own bottle of Omega-3 supplements made here in the USA by Intego Nutrition. Click here to get started.