(Guest Post by Vicki Zerbee)
The health of our kids has changed dramatically in recent years. We have solutions that target good, even great, health. And yet we have higher rates of overweight, obesity, asthma, and other health challenges than ever before. Scientists have discovered that kids fish oil can make a difference. It can play a beneficial role in brain and eye development, learning, moods and behavior, and in specific areas like with asthma, and issues associated with heart disease and high cholesterol from being overweight or obese.
Did you know that today 30% of our kids are either overweight, obese, or at risk of becoming overweight? There are issues that go along with these, and kids fish oil can play a role in helping young children. That’s important because overweight teens have an 80% risk of being overweight as an adult as well. Children who are overweight or obese suffer greatly from low self esteem, and those feelings can impact them throughout their lives. The risk for having heart disease, cancer, hypertension, and arthritis in adulthood is greater when overweight and obesity are part of childhood.
Research tells us that good health is not only essential for physical growth and development but to a child’s ability to learn as well. As parents, we have choices that we can make to have a positive impact on our child’s daily diet and overall health and well being. Parents are responsible for introducing their kids to healthy foods, and having good eating habits demonstrated in the family. It starts during infancy and early childhood, when vitamins and minerals are key to growth.
These choices we have can help our children in many areas: brain development, learning skills, and even behavior. Studies are showing that kids fish oil improves learning and concentration, and calms behavior in children who need it. Since children do not like fishy tastes, and most do not get fish in their diet on a regular basis, science tells us that kids fish oil supplements can fill the gap and insure that fish oil is consistently present in the child’s body.
Food has been linked to behavior for a long time, mostly focused on being able to recognize foods to avoid if they cause an unfavorable reaction. Kids fish oil can be a nutrient that we want to add to our children’s daily diets in order to give them the healthy benefits associated with it.
Does your child get sick often or struggle in school? Nutrient deficiencies affect growth and the ability to learn, and increase risk of frequent illnesses. They also set the stage for developing more serious illnesses later in life.
Health challenges like high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and immune challenges are being diagnosed in young children today. This is very sad when you think how it can be a life-long health struggle for many, and it is frustrating because these illnesses in young children are almost completely avoidable.
With the high numbers of children with asthma, I was excited to learn that researchers discovered children who used kids fish oil from the time they were weaned from breastfeeding, until age three, were 10 percent less likely to have chronic coughs—a good predictor of asthma—than those who didn’t. The reason can be that fish oil contains anti-inflammatory fatty acids, reducing inflammation in children’s airways. It’s always good to hear these things confirmed, even though we have had many children benefit from kids fish oil and they know it works without having to read about a clinical study because they can ‘feel’ it working.
As I dig deeper for information about kids fish oil, I find some very interesting stats. In a study with ADHD kids from Australia, there was a 40-50 percent improvement in behavior for two groups of children using kids fish oil for 30-weeks, and a 30-40 percent improvement for ADHD kids using fish oil for 15-weeks. If you compare that with results of studies of Ritalin and Concerta, drugs that are prescribed for ADHD, fish oils were more effective.
When measured in blood tests, the levels of omega-3s in children who have ADHD are lower than in kids who don’t have it. Some pediatricians have been recommending kids fish oil supplements for these children for quite a while because they get such great results. You have to wonder why a natural supplement, that has no side effects AND can produce measurable results, is not more widely known about and suggested.
To learn more, visit our Kids Fish Oil page.