The wonders of fish oil is once again in the news with reports of a review by The Food Standards Agency.
The review will concentrate on the effects of Omega-3 and 6 fish oils have on children’s development.
As mentioned before on this blog , the use of these supplements has already received favourable coverage from Durham Local Educational Authority which has carried out a series of tests.
While all the anecdotal evidence looks good – the oils appear to improve concentration when consumed by children who have attention disorders and allergy problems – there has still been little hard-science research into its possible effects on children in general.
Dr Alexandra Richardson the director of the charity Food and Behaviour Research , called for the supplements to be subjected to double-blind trials. on Monday’s Radio 4 Today programme .
And the Professional Association of Teachers wants to see more research as well as guidelines on how schools will administer the supplements to pupils.
There is also a note of caution from the States where registered dietitian Suzanne Havala Hobbs warns against a head-long rush into mass consumption of supplements saying: “Most healthy people should count on getting omega-3s — and other needed nutrients — from whole foods. Tofu and other soy foods, canola oil, flaxseeds and walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acids, which the body can convert into omega-3 fatty acids.
So why would children need extra supplements if a healthy diet provides all the necessary Omega 3 and 6? Well perhaps the answer is in the question. How many children actually get a healthy diet to start with? In these days of convenience foods, poor cooking skills and ignorance about nutrition, maybe the only option for a healthy diet is to boost the bank balances of the supplement manufacturers to ensure a brainy future for our children.
If you have had any experience of using fish oils – good, bad or indecisive – then please share them by submitting your comments via the link below.