The Dramatic Effect of Fish Oil On Learning, Development

You may recall last month I shared the results of a study in which teens improved their attention spans and memories when they took 20 mg a day of zinc daily. Not surprisingly, a new study found fish oil -- one of the essential foods in an optimized diet -- helped 40 percent of kids monitored in 12 British schools to make dramatic improvements in their schoolwork.

Researchers studied some 120 British kids, ages 5-12, who were judged to be normal but were labeled underachievers and believed to have dyspraxia, a condition that encompasses problems with motor skills and coordination that frequently overlaps with dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism.

Half of the patients were given fish oil for three months, and the rest received an olive oil placebo. Kids who took fish oil supplements made about three times the amount of progress in their reading skills as did those who took the placebo. To test the beneficial effects of fish oil even further, the placebo group, when switched over to fish oil after three months, made the same progress.

An interesting factoid: Although none of kids participating in the study had been diagnosed with ADHD, a third of them demonstrated enough problems to put them in this category. After three months of taking fish oil, however, half of them showed so much improvement they no longer fell into this category.

Good reason for you to review my detailed page answering your questions about fish oil's many benefits, as well as what to look for in a high-quality product.

Pediatrics, Vol. 115, No. 5, May 2005: 1360-1366

Guardian.co.uk May 2, 2005

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