It may still be summer, but before you know it, your children will be heading back to school. Check out these studies on the benefits of omega-3s for your children to help reduce asthma and improve their reading scores. In the first study, children born to mothers who took omega-3 fish oil during their pregnancy were less likely to develop asthma. In the second study, school-age children who took omega-3/6 showed significant improvements in reading skills.
Omega-3s Reduces Asthma in Children
Childhood asthma in the United States is increasing and at historically high levels. Doctors believe one contributing factor is low levels of omega-3s in the Western diets of mothers during pregnancy. In this study, 663 women in the 24th week of pregnancy began taking 2,400 mg of omega-3 fish oil per day, or a placebo, through the birth of their babies.
Doctors followed the children for five years and found kids born to moms in the omega-3 group were 31 percent less likely to have developed asthma compared to kids whose moms had taken the placebo. Kids of the omega-3 moms were also 28 percent less likely to develop persistent wheeze, and were less likely to have respiratory infections. Results were greatest for children of mothers who began the study with the lowest levels of EPA and DHA. They were 54 percent less likely to have developed asthma compared to kids of moms in the placebo group.
Omega-3s and -6s Improve Reading in Children
In this reading study, 122 children, ages 9 to 10, took a placebo or 558 mg of EPA plus 174 mg DHA and 60 mg GLA per day. After three months, kids taking the omega-3s and omega-6s had better reading skills compared to the placebo group. Doctors saw the greatest benefit when kids had to read a nonsense work aloud, pronouncing it correctly; and to quickly read aloud a series of letters. Children with mild attention problems who took omega-3/6 showed the most improvement. The brain largely relies on omega-3s for nerve cell communication, doctors said.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.