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Fish Oil Boosts Pupil Brain Power

Monday, 6 June 2016  |  Editor

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Fish Oil Boosts Pupil Brain Power

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Two new studies reveal fish oils have dramatic beneficial effect on children.

Children who were under performing in class have seen an improvement in concentration and behaviour after taking natural fish oils. One head teacher said children with specific difficulties now concentrate more, read better, and their self-esteem has rocketed.

More than 120 children aged between six and 12 took part in trials, funded by Durham County Council. Half used a combination of omega-3 fish oil and omega-6 evening primrose oil and half an olive oil placebo. The research showed children's learning and behaviour improved significantly when taking the natural fatty acids.

At the beginning of the trial and again after three months, the children were tested for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms, co-ordination and short term memory.

The fatty acid made "highly significant improvements" in 12 out of 13 behavioural scales, including inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Short term memory also significantly improved.

Dr Madeleine Portwood, an education psychologist from Durham Education Authority, said: "As a psychologist working in schools in Durham I became increasingly aware of the number of children under achieving because they are hyperactive and cannot concentrate.

"In the late 1990s there was lots of research available suggesting fatty acids would make a difference. So I put it to a number of heads and they said we'll give it a go.

"For six months the children were taking supplements during the school day and we measured improvements.

"The most dramatic improvement was in concentration and the spin off was children had better attainments so their reading score improved - some children improved by as much as four years in the six months trial." 

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