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Maternal Omega-3 levels influence childhood behaviour

Wednesday, 18 October 2017  |  Editor

Maternal Omega-3 levels influence childhood behaviour

A mother’s levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids during pregnancy can impact upon childhood emotional and behavioural issues, a study has reports.

The study, published in the journal Pediatric Research, examined maternal levels of the long chained polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and omega-6 AA (arachidonic acid) alongside the 3/6 ratio in mid-pregnancy.  Once the children reached the age of 6, behaviour and emotional problems were assessed using a combination of school teacher reports and parental behaviour checklists.

Results showed higher levels of DHA and the omega 3/6 ratio were associated with fewer emotional problems whilst elevated AA levels were linked with more behavioural issues.

There is a growing body of research highlighting the links between foetal brain development and long chained fatty acid intake.  

It has already been reported that omega-3 supplements improved behaviour at a secondary school in Oxford, and research linking EPA and DHA to improvements in mood, memory and concentration in adults is widely found.

 A child’s developing brain requires plentiful and consistent amounts of omega-3 fats to enable brain cells to grow and communicate properly. 

The Government recommends adults and children regularly consume oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines but the strong flavours of these foods can put children off.  Using a high quality, bioavailable omega-3 supplement can cover any dietary discrepancies and support brain health and development.

Another product worth looking at is Krill Oil (a very concentrated and sustainable Omega Oil) that is specifically designed for women