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Omega3 supplements - Do children really need them?

Mar 16 2014, 10:44am CDT | by , in News | Misc

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Omega3 supplements - Do children really need them?

The prevailing risk of fatty acid deficiency being associated with developmental problems in children has become a cause of concern for parents

The new Enfagrow Toddler Next Step advertisement woulds have left many parents wondering whether these are really a necessity for a healthy wellbeing or is it just another hoax. This advertisement is about a new powdered drink made by formula manufacturer Enfamil and the voiceover explains how children might not be getting enough of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which is essential for the brain development of children.

For those wondering what these acids really do, many parenting magazines have emphasized on their importance in the hormonal production which is essential for brain development in toddlers. These Omega3 supplements are also recommended by BabyCenter which states that it is often not possible for children to get the right amount of these fatty acids because of their diets don't incorporate fresh fatty fish.

Though there is no denying of the fact that these fatty acids are extremely important for health, certain contradicting views have left many people conscious about the use of supplements; after all these are not the natural way of getting the required nutrients. A published report in 2010 by Cornucopia Institute, a nonprofit organization that supports sustainable and organic agriculture, issued a warning against these Omega3 supplements saying that these are completely unnecessary and dangerous for infants. The use of these supplements can be a cause of diarrhea, rashes, and even seizures.

There is no verdict on this case and it still remains a huge confusion for parents. For obvious reasons, the Omega3 fatty acids are considered as important building blocks of health, but there is no clear evidence to suggest that the use of these supplements will make kids healthier or smarter. It is also recommended by most doctors that the best way to get the necessary nutrients is through natural foods and quite honestly supplements dont seem a thing for a kids at all.

Children can have all the necessary nutrients provided their diet is carefully monitored by parents. But all the safety concerns have not yet been carved in stone because there is no solid scientific evidence. In fact, most studies have shown that where animals were given Omega3 fatty acid deficient diets, they developed visual and hearing difficulties. Some studies have also found associations between abnormal fatty acid levels in children and behavioral or developmental problems such as ADHD, autism and reading and memory difficulties. But all this doesnt right away go in favor of the supplements. It is important to understand that not all developmental problems are caused by fatty acid deficiencies.

source: heraldtribune

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