Healthy fats are an essential part of any diet, especially for children whose bodies are still growing and developing. The foods that are rich in essential fatty acids, such as cold-water seafood, are often unappealing to the palates of kids. This can make it difficult for little ones to get enough of the healthy fats that their bodies need through diet alone.
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Fish oil supplements for children can help to bridge this dietary gap and give kids' bodies the nutrients needed for healthy development.
Children's fish oil and omega supplements differ from adult formulations. These products are dosed especially for the dietary needs of children and are usually flavored to make them more enjoyable to take. In addition, kids' supplements are manufactured in formulations that children can easily chew or swallow with gummies, liquids, shakes and chewable tablets among the available options here at drugstore.com.
Omega fatty acids play an important role in the development of the brain. These essential nutrients also help regulate processes in the body such as blood clotting and muscle activity. Studies into the benefits of fish oil supplementation in children have also revealed that they may be useful for specific health care concerns, such as elevated triglyceride levels.
Studies have looked into the potential benefits of fish oil supplementation in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). One study found that boys with ADHD had lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their bodies. This led the researchers to hypothesize that fish oil supplements may help to improve symptoms of the condition; however, other studies have shown conflicting results. While the benefits of fish oil in improving symptoms of ADHD are still inconclusive, some doctors may recommend the use of a fatty acid supplement to be used in conjunction with other therapies in the treatment of this disorder.
A specific type of omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid or DHA is often added to infant formulas because of its essential role in brain function as well as normal growth and development. Numerous studies including one at the University of North Carolina concluded that children's bodies require DHA and other nutrients to produce new brain cells. DHA is also believed to be important in healthy eye development.
A clinical review published in the Pharmacological Research journal discussed the effects of low DHA levels in childhood and risk of developing health issues later in life. Specifically, the review suggested a link between DHA deficiency and increased risk for many mental health disorders, including bipolar disorder, depression and problems with aggression and hostility. Thus far, DHA has not been clinically proven to prevent mental health problems or improve the symptoms in children with any of these conditions, but the review does reinforce the importance of children consuming adequate amounts of DHA in their diets.
Children's fish oils and omega supplements are generally regarded as safe; however, you should consult with your pediatrician before giving your child a supplement of any kind. Be sure to follow the dosage instructions listed on the product packaging unless otherwise advised by a physician.
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