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Benefits and the Right Dosage of Fish Oil Consumption for Children

Have you ever given fish oil to children or have you used it yourself as a child? Fish oil does have many benefits for children, adults, and pregnant women. Then, what is fish oil and what are the benefits of this vitamin supplement for children?

What Is Fish Oil?


Fish oil is a food source containing omega 3 fatty acids that the body needs and functions for many things. Various functions, ranging from muscle activity to cell growth. This is what makes you need to meet the needs of omega 3 in children.

Omega 3 fatty acids can only be obtained from food, these substances cannot be produced in the body.

Fish oil contains three types of omega 3, namely:
  • Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

EPA and DHA are found in various types of fish. While ALA is often found in whole grains, such as chia and walnuts.

However, the source of omega 3 acids is not only from fish. Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in the meat of grass-fed animals, such as beef, goat, and buffalo.

Even so, the content of omega 3 acids in animal meat is not as high as fish. The foods with the best omega-3 content are fish that are high in fat.

For example, salmon, milkfish, mackerel, salted fish, sardines (not packaged), and herring.

The benefits of omega 3 and omega 6 for children, namely:
  • Strengthens eye performance
  • Improve the brain's ability to remember, learn, and consider

A deficiency in omega-3s can weaken some of these functions. Omega-3s can lower body inflammation and prevent several chronic diseases.

In a teaspoon or 4 ml of fish oil contains:
  • 40.6 calories
  • 4.5 grams of fat
  • 1084 mg of omega 3 fatty acids
  • 9.6 mg of omega 6 fatty acids

You can see in the description of fish oil packaging to be given to your little one.

Benefits of Fish Oil For Children


Fish oil has many benefits for all ages, from children, adults, pregnant women, to the elderly.

Here are the benefits of fish oil for children:

1. Overcoming mood problems in ADHD children

ADHD stands for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, which is a neurodevelopmental disorder in childhood.

This condition makes parents need to optimize the child's brain and nerve development.

The facts that children with ADHD need to know are that their bodies may lack omega 3 levels in their normal bodies.

Then, what are the benefits of fish oil for children's mental health?

Omega 3 is able to overcome a person's mood or mood problems and mental health.

In the Journal of Child Neurology in 2012, it was shown that consuming omega 3, especially DHA, can improve brain work and behavior in children with ADHD.

Fish oil is believed to work for brain function, considering that in the brain it contains 60 percent omega 3 and omega 6 polyunsaturated fats.

The study involved children aged 6-12 years with ADHD conditions.

Apart from fish oil, you can also find omega 3 and omega 6 in dark leafy vegetables, walnuts, and flaxseeds.

Still from the same study, when children with ADHD consume fish oil, the possible effects they will experience include:
  • Change behavior
  • Reduces hyperactivity
  • Helps increase attention in children under 12 years of age

However, still consult your doctor for further dosage information and benefits.

2. Prevent anxiety and depression

The study entitled Omega 3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and the Treatment of Depression shows that there is a lot of evidence showing about omega 3 fatty acids.

In research, it is stated that the omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil play a role in overcoming anxiety and depression.

The study shows that fish oil is beneficial for reducing depressive symptoms in children and placebo.

3. Helps reduce the risk of diabetes in children

Based on research published in the journal Brain Research, fish oil helps reduce your little one's risk of developing diabetes and decreased cognitive development.

In that study, it was explained that fish oil helps protect hippocampus cells from damage and reduces oxidative stress.

These cells are the cause of complications of type two diabetes in children. The complications referred to are microvascular and cardiovascular.

Are Fish Oil Supplements Safe For Children?


Fish oil vitamin supplements are safe for consumption by children. However, you can get omega 3 from fish that are consumed daily.

If you want to provide additional vitamin supplements for fish oil, consult your doctor first.

The omega-3 content in fish oil is not an alternative medicine, but acts as a side food.

Fish oil is high in DHA and EPA which are good for children's health. Some foods that are high in fish oil and DHA are:

Mackerel

So far, salmon is often referred to as a fish with a high omega 3 acid content. In fact, mackerel has a higher omega 3 acid content than salmon.

Described on the official website of the U.S Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of mackerel contains 2.4 grams of omega 3, 504 mg of EPA, and 699 mg of DHA.

Salmon

This fish is very well known for being rich in omega 3. In 100 grams of salmon, it contains 1.6 grams of omega 3 to support your little one's brain development.

Anchovy

The size is very small, but anchovy contains many benefits for children. In 100 grams of anchovy contains 2.13 grams of omega 3.

Apart from being rich in nutrients, anchovy is also easily found in traditional markets and can be processed into a variety of dishes.

Then, Is Fish Oil Safe For Babies?


Fish oil is safe for consumption by children, adults, and pregnant women.

Quoting from American Pregnancy, during pregnancy or after giving birth, pregnant women can routinely take fish oil supplements because they are important for the development of the fetus and baby's brain.

However, babies under 6 months are not advised to consume fish oil directly.

This is because babies still have to consume breast milk. However, babies can still get the fish oil content from supplements or from foods that are eaten by their mothers.

You can give food high in fish oil when he has started solids.

Various types of fish, such as mackerel, salmon, anchovies, can be included in your little one's diet.

The Recommended Dosage Of Fish Oil For Children


The need for fish oil for children depends on their age and gender. If you are purchasing additional fish oil supplements, follow the instructions on the package.

Based on the National Institutes of Health, the recommended intake of omega 3 fats is:
  • Children aged 0-12 months: 0.5 grams
  • Children aged 1-3 years: 0.7 grams
  • Children aged 4-8 years: 0.9 grams
  • Girls 9-13 years: 1 gram
  • Boys 9-13 years: 1.2 grams
  • Girls 14-18 years: 1.1 grams
  • Boys 14-18 years: 1.6 grams

Children can get fish oil and omega 3 from a variety of foods, such as fatty fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.

Add various food sources above in your child's diet to increase the nutritional intake they consume.

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