Kids Reading Abilities Can be Improved by Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

If your kid is going through difficulty in reading, instead of employing a tutor, the remedy could lay in fatty acid supplementation, according to the study presented in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

The study led by Mats Johnson and his colleagues observe that earlier study has recommended there are beneficial effects of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in kids with poor attention and reading issues. Therefore, the team desired to see if the fatty acids would enhance reading capability in mainstream school children.

Even though the human body can develop the majority of the fats, it requires other fats or raw components, omega-3 and omega-6 are important fats that the body must obtain from food.

Foods high in omega-3 consist of fish, flax, leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils, most omega-6 fatty acids in the diet are produced from vegetable oils.

Study team observes that polyunsaturated fats – which includes omega-3 and omega-6 – and their consequences on children’s learning and behavior has been a increasing area of research.

With respect to the study team, our current diet does not consist of very much omega-3.

“The cell membranes in the brain are mostly composed of polyunsaturated fats, and there are researches that suggest that fatty acids are essential for signal transmission in between nerve cells and the regulation of signaling systems in the brain.”

Kids with mild attention issues demonstrated higher improvement.

To perform their research, the investigators involved 154 schoolchildren from western Sweden who were in grade 3 (Age is between 9 and 10 years).

The investigators then assessed their reading abilities making use of a computer-based examine, known as the Logos test. It calculated reading speed, capability to read nonsense words, and vocabulary.

Next, the study team randomly allocated the kids to receive either capsules with both omega-3 and omega-6, or similar placebo capsules that contains palm oil. The kids took the capsules for 3 months, and they and their parents did not know if they had obtained fatty acids or the placebo.

After 3 months, all of the kids obtained the real omega-3/6 capsules for the leftover 3 months of the study.

“Despite 3 months, we could see that the kids’s reading skills enhanced with the inclusion of fatty acids, in comparison with those who received the placebo. This was especially evident in the capability to read a nonsense word loudly and pronounce it properly (phonologic decoding), and the capability to read a series of letters rapidly (visual analysis time).”

While the research included some kids who had mild attention issues, there were not any kids in the research who were clinically diagnosed with ADHD. However, the investigators observe that the kids with mild attention issues achieved better improvements in specific tests after taking the fatty acid supplements, which includes faster reading.

Theirs is the initial double-blind, placebo-controlled research to show that omega-3/6 enhances reading in schoolchildren. While the research indicates kids could benefit from fatty acid supplementation,

Study led Johnson states that: “To be more specific about the outcomes, they must also be repeated in other research.”