Omega 3 Supplements for Children: Is it Really Necessary?

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that the body can’t produce but are necessary for maintaining good health. To benefit from these essential fatty acids, we must take in foods that are rich in omega 3 – fish such as salmon, tuna, halibut, etc. Omega 3 fatty acids, also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. These fatty acids also play a critical part in growth and development, and normal brain function. This crucial role is what gives omega 3 supplements a high demand in the market, especially coming from parents who want their children to grow healthier. So here is what you need to know about omega 3 supplements for children.

Omega 3 supplements for children are in an especially high demand because kids are still under the development process and they need all the nutrients they can get that will help them grow in a normal and healthy way. During this stage of growth, the brain definitely requires an abundant amount of omega 3 fatty acids. And so, parents too, are in need of such supplements for their children.

When choosing omega 3 supplements, remember that the preferable source of omega 3 is fish oil. Other sources like flax seed (plant source), provide omega 3 in ALA form which is a form that still needs to be converted by the body into DHA and EPA – the two essential omega 3 fatty acids. The conversion of ALA into DHA and / or EPA does not always efficiently happen. So acquiring DHA and EPA directly (from fish oil) without the need of a conversion is definitely the best option. And this is very important since the mass of the brain is composed of 60% fats; and half of the fats are DHA, meaning, this fatty acid is vital for optimal brain development.

However, providing children with omega 3 supplements calls for a patronage of only purified fish oil products. We want purified fish oil supplements because many of the fish we get contain toxins that are a result of contaminants in the ocean. Because of this daunting fact, fish oil products need to undergo a process called molecular distillation. This process cleans and removes contamination in fish and yields only pure fish oil.

Aside from checking if the fish oil product is purified, you must buy only fish oil supplements that are given the “pharmaceutical grade”. This grade marks the highest quality a product can get on the market. Another thing to remember when buying supplements for your child is that there is no distinct omega 3 supplement made for children. A good omega 3 supplement will work for adults and children alike. However, fish oil capsules should be given to children under the direction of a health care professional since there is also no established dose of omega 3 supplements for children.

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