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Are kids need omega 3 supplements?

As general, to make children healthy, they should take omega 3 fatty acids because these acids are very important especially for children.

They play an important role in growth and development and provide other health benefits.

Some parents don't know whether omega-3 supplements are necessary or not, so this article takes a look over benefits, side effects and dosage of omega-3 supplements for children.

Omega-3 fatty acids

They are essential because our body can't produce them on its own, so we must get them from diet or supplements.

There are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

This is the plant source of omega-3 and we can find it in vegetable oils, seeds, nuts and some vegetables.

Not active on its own, so body converts it into the other active fatty acids as DHA and EPA in quantities.

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

We can get them natural in fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel and also supplements.

Omega-3 benefits for kids

  • Omega 3 may improve symptoms of ADHD

Symptoms like hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and difficulty focusing are linked to Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Some studies found that taking omega-3 supplements in ADHD children patients improve memory, attention, learning, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Also they can improve attention in those without ADHD

  • Omega 3 could reduce asthma

Chest pain, difficulty in breathing, cough and wheezing are symptoms of Asthma which is a chronic disease that affects children.

Some studies found that taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements decrease asthma symptoms and also there is a lower risk of asthma in children who take omega 3.

  • Omega 3 promotes better sleep

4% of children under age 18 complain from sleep disturbances.

Studies found a relation between lower blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and risk of sleep problems and found also that taking omega 3 fatty acids decrease sleep problems.

Other studies recommend taking more omega 3 fatty acids during pregnancy to improve sleep patterns in infants.

  • Omega 3 improves brain health

Research found that taking omega-3 fatty acids may improve brain function and mood in children — in particular, verbal learning, memory, and brain development as omega 3 increase activation of the prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain responsible for attention, impulse control, and planning.

Potential side effects of omega 3 for children

Generally, omega 3 supplements are safe but they may cause bad breath, unpleasant aftertaste, headache, heartburn, stomach upset, nausea and diarrhea.

Children who are allergic to fish or shellfish must avoid all fish oil and other fish-based supplements, such as cod liver oil and krill oil and they can take other foods or supplements rich in omega-3s like flax seed or algal oil.

Dosage of omega 3 for children

According to age and gender, we can calculate daily needs of omega-3 fatty acids.

If you’re taking supplements, it’s best to follow the instructions on the package.

Notably, ALA is the only omega-3 fatty acid with recommended daily dosage guidelines:

  1. 0–12 months: 0.5 grams
  2. 1–3 years: 0.7 grams
  3. 4–8 years: 0.9 grams
  4. Girls 9–13 years: 1.0 grams
  5. Boys 9–13 years: 1.2 grams
  6. Girls 14–18 years: 1.1 grams
  7. Boys 14–18 years: 1.6 grams

You also can easily add Fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and plant oils to your child’s diet to improve their intake.

Supplements are recommended if your child doesn’t eat fish regularly or other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

In general, most studies recommend 120–1,300 mg of combined DHA and EPA per day for children.


Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for your child’s overall health.

They are especially important for kids’ brain health. They may also improve sleep quality and decrease symptoms of ADHD and asthma.

If your child does not get enough omega-3s rich foods, consider taking omega 3 fatty acids supplements after consulting your health care provider.


Should Kids Take Omega-3 Supplements

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