If you have turned on the TV lately, you have probably seen the commercial for Enfagrow Toddler Next Step, a new powdered drink made by formula manufacturer Enfamil. The voiceover lady explains that your child is likely not getting enough of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), "an important nutrient that can help nourish the brain." Luckily, Enfagrow can fill that gap!
Do little children require those supplements? Child rearing magazine clarifies that DHA "jolts the preparation of a hormone that is serious for mind health" for babies and little children. Child Center proposes omega-3 supplements for children who don't consume greasy fish in any event once a week (and no, locally acquired fish sticks don't tally). Then again, the Cornucopia Institute, a not-for-profit association that backings feasible and natural farming, communicated a report in 2010 in which it cautioned that the omega-3 unsaturated fats added to baby and kids' beverages are "risky and unnecessary" and can result in rashes, loose bowels, and even seizures. So what is the arrangement - are omega-3 supplements basic or hurtful?
It appears that the response to this inquiry is a consoling not, one or the other. In spite of the fact that omega-3 unsaturated fats, for example, DHA are imperative building squares for the creating cerebrum, and normal utilization by American children is low, there is little record to recommend that kids get to be more intelligent or healthier when they take omega-3 supplements. Actually, there is no agreeable accord on what number of omega-3 fats kids really require. Most researchers and specialists concur; too, that it is quicker witted to get supplements through entire sustenance when conceivable. Anyhow in the wake of investigating the confirmation, I am sure that the security concerns raised about the omega-3s added to equations and children's beverages are not situated in strong science.
About 15 percent of the fat found in the brain is DHA, where the molecule helps brain cells function and react rapidly. Omega-3s are used to build parts of the eye, maintain cell structure throughout the body, and make hormones known as eicosanoids, important for a range of physiological functions. Animals that are fed omega-3-deficient diets end up with learning and visual problems; some studies have also found associations between abnormal fatty acid levels in children and behavioral or developmental problems such as ADHD, autism and reading and memory niceties. But before you run out to stock up on Enfagrow, there are some important caveats to take into account. Just because fatty acid deficiencies have been linked to developmental problems does not mean that the deficiencies cause the problems.
In fact, researchers studying these links theorize that kids with developmental disorders or cognitive problems may have trouble metabolizing fatty acids -- in other words, the disorders may cause omega-3 deficiencies, not vice versa. Supporting this notion, several studies and systematic reviews have shown that giving kids with these disorders omega-3 supplements does not improve their symptoms.
Overall, there is no good evidence to suggest that children who take omega-3 supplements fare better than those who do not. THE BOTTOM LINE Do not feel pressured give your kids omega-3 supplements if they are healthy and eating well. Do, however, try to ensure that kids eat one or two weekly servings of fatty fish low in mercury, such as salmon. What if you have an 18-month-old who simply refuses to eat fatty fish, no matter how you ready it? In this case, supplements might be animated. But do not give up: Keep putting fish in front of your kids and ask them to try a bite each time, because repeated tastings can overcome food fears and aversions.
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