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DenvrDave
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10 Oct 2009, 12:19 am

Does anyone have experience with using fish oil to improve their life or the lives of their children?

A family member has recommended giving fish oil supplements to my son based on a newspaper article that claims fish oil (Omega 3 fatty acids) can help children by improving their concentration and calming hyperactivity. I've always been skeptical of such claims. But before I politely tell the family member "no," I wanted to see if anyone on this forum has first hand experience.

Does it work? Is it possible? Any side affects? Has this been discussed before and if so can you point me to the thread?

Thanks!



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10 Oct 2009, 12:38 am

Alzheimers runs in my mom's side of the family. Her physician advised her to take fish oil to slow the cognitive delay (my mom has since hounded me to follow suit). So, I am aware of its suggested use for that purpose, but toward hyperactivity...no.


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10 Oct 2009, 2:49 am

Omega 3 helps the brain, and general energy levels.

You can look up nootropics ("smart drugs") to find out about more nutrients that help with brain function.

Anything that helps with health, especially brain health, will help with autism, ADHD, etc. It's not a cure, but does make it easier to cope with life's problems.


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annotated_alice
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10 Oct 2009, 9:38 am

We supplement our sons with fish oil, under the couldn't hurt and might even help category. We have done this off and on for several years (off because after several months of doing it, they will become so sickened of it that they need a break, then after several weeks off they are able to tolerate it again).

We have never observed any quantifiable improvements in attention or mood for them with the fish oil. We do however see a significant improvement in the condition of their skin. They both have eczema and it all but disappears with regular doses of fish oil.

We use the "genuine health" brand omega+joy variety.

Edited to add: we haven't noticed any side effects, other than the very strong taste which can come back to "haunt" you throughout the day. The brand we use is flavoured with orange oil, so it doesn't taste too fishy, but sensitive palates may still find it challenging. Oh, and the cost. The brand we use costs $40CDN a bottle!



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10 Oct 2009, 5:08 pm

I put this one in the "can't hurt" category, and many people feel fish oil is fantastic health enhancement with or without spectrum issues. I'm not sure what the science says, but I thought there was some support for it. Me ... I'm not good at staying with supplements of any kind, so I haven't tried, but my husband likes to take fish oil supplements, and vitamins, and ... lol, he has to buy them himself because I'll never remember! He doesn't feel strongly enough about it to get the rest of the family on the program, however. So there you have it, my totally useless no answer answer ;)


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DenvrDave
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10 Oct 2009, 5:49 pm

DW, it wasn't a totally useless answer :wink:



Azharia
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11 Oct 2009, 1:57 pm

I have been told it is the EPA rather than the DHA that we need, and that DHA levels reduce EPA levels. So I and my daughter take DHA oils. (Both are omegas I believe) But one could talk to a specialist themselves to be sure I heard this right



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14 Oct 2009, 3:11 am

My son is taking the omega 3 fish oil ; fruit flavoured for kids.... He loves them!

He's been taking them for a year now with no side affects that I can see! It could be co incidental, but he has made improvement being on them :)

I'm taking them as well as they're supposed to be good for reducing bad cholesterol.



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14 Oct 2009, 7:54 am

Azharia wrote:
I have been told it is the EPA rather than the DHA that we need, and that DHA levels reduce EPA levels. So I and my daughter take DHA oils. (Both are omegas I believe) But one could talk to a specialist themselves to be sure I heard this right


Agreed. You are supposed to take a minimum of ~ 500 mg of EPA per day. The currently accepted model suggests that you take a total of ~1000 mg of EPA/DHA per day, with the EPA/DHA ratio of 4:1 or higher (7:1 highly suggested).

(Sorry I don't have a source for this, it's from my notes when I researched fish oil supplementation, and no time to google for sources right now, but info is readily available online.)



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14 Oct 2009, 9:05 am

My understanding is that part of the benefits of Omega oils is that they strengthen the mylan sheath surrounding the nerve cells which helps overcome "misfiring". Omega oils are very healthy for everyone, with no real negative side-effects that I have ever heard of. (I suppose if one were to fall into a vat of it and drown.......) But, because of the positive nerve benefits of the Omega oils, I could see why it could be useful as brain nutrition. I would say go ahead and supplement with it.

I supplement with Udo's Choice Oil Blend which isn't fish oil, but a blend of Omega 3, 6 & 9 oils from plant sources. You can use it as a base for making your own salad dressings, pour it into smoothies, etc. It doesn't have a "fishy" taste, some would describe it as having a nutty flavor to it.



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14 Oct 2009, 9:21 am

Does anyone know if there is an age cut-off for it? My daughter is 2 years old, can I give it to her?


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Nephesh
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14 Oct 2009, 9:24 pm

Off the top of my head, I would say that omega oils are useful to any child that has moved onto solid food. The only thing that I can think of as a side effect from too much omega oils would be a possibility of loose bowels. (Oil tends to be a lubricant.) So adjust the dosage downwards if that is the case.



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18 Oct 2009, 8:07 pm

I take fish oil and think it helps.

It's possible for it to make some people a bit hypomanic, I hear.