Improving omega-3 fatty acid intakes of preschool children
The benefits of long chain omega-3 fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA of 20 or greater carbon) in childhood are extensively documented. Not only do they play a key role in optimizing cognitive, behavioral and visual development 1, but they also provide protection against the development of cardiovascular disease 2. Breast milk provides a reliable source of LC n-3 PUFA during infant development, and the majority of infant formulas are supplemented with these fatty acids in an attempt to mimic the composition of breast milk and offer the same benefits. However, as a child is weaned, reliance on dietary sources of LC n-3 PUFA increases.
Oily fish provide the only significant source of naturally occurring LC n-3 PUFA in our diet. According to the 2009 National Diet and Nutrition Survey 3, however, the average intake of oily fish in children aged 3-5 years is just 24.5 g per week, and this is primarily attributed to the relatively few children consuming oily fish on a regular basis.
So why are intakes of oily fish so low in this population? Unfortunately, many negative preconceptions exist which appear to inhibit the incorporation of oily fish into children's diets. Aside from the apparent strong taste and smell 4, oily fish is considered expensive as there is a lack of confidence about how to prepare and serve it 5. In addition, despite assurances to the contrary, oily fish are often associated with the ingestion of pollutants which may put health at risk 6. These influences are particularly pertinent for children growing up in areas of deprivation, where eating habits are already suboptimal and resistant to healthy eating messages 7.
Preschool provides a suitable environment for introducing and reinforcing positive eating habits. In particular, the immediacy of developmental needs for LC n-3 PUFA would suggest that this is the ideal opportunity to influence preferences for oily fish. Therefore, an initiative was set up to develop and evaluate a range of omega-3 fatty acid -rich snack foods, containing oily fish, and then provided to children attending a nursery in a deprived area of Scotland 8. Acceptability and subsequent consumption of the omega-3 fatty acid-rich snacks was comparable to that of the regular snacks, yet provided a valuable 250 mg more of LC n-3 PUFA per portion.
These findings indicate that oily fish can be successfully introduced into the diet of preschool children and that such an initiative can contribute to achieving current recommendations for LC n-3 PUFA intake.
- Schuchardt JP, Huss M, Stauss-Grabo M, Hahn A. Significance of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for the development and behaviour of children. Eur J Pediatr 2010;169:149-164.
- Adkins Y, Kelley DS. Mechanisms underlying the cardioprotective effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. J Nutr Biochem 2010;
- National Diet Nutrition Survey. Headline results from year 1 of the rolling programme (2008/2009). 2010, Food Standards Agency , London. Accessed online http://www.food.gov.uk/science/dietarysurveys/ndnsdocuments/ndns0809year1, June 22nd 2010.
- Sioen I, Huybrechts I, Verbeke W, Camp JV, De HS. n-6 and n-3 PUFA intakes of pre-school children in Flanders, Belgium. Br J Nutr 2007;98:819-825.
- McManus A, Burns SK, Howat PA, Cooper L, Fielder L. Factors influencing the consumption of seafood among young children in Perth: a qualitative study. BMC Public Health 2007;7:119
- Freire C, Ramos R, Lopez-Espinosa MJ, Diez S, Vioque J, Ballester F, Fernandez MF. Hair mercury levels, fish consumption, and cognitive development in preschool children from Granada, Spain. Environ Res 2010;110:96-104.
- Craig LC, McNeill G, Macdiarmid JI, Masson LF, Holmes BA. Dietary patterns of school-age children in Scotland: association with socio-economic indicators, physical activity and obesity. Br J Nutr 2010;103:319-334.
- McKenzie, J., Scheers Anderson, E., and Drummond, S. The evaluation of an initiative to provide omega-3 rich snacks to preschool children in a deprived area of Edinburgh. 2010, Presented at the Scottish Lipid Discussion Group Meeting, Stirling, UK.
- Pre-school children rely on dietary sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids to support essential development and to protect against mechanisms contributing to cardiovascular diseases.
- Intakes of oily fish, the most abundant natural source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, are particularly poor in children.
- Innovative initiatives to provide snack foods made from oily fish to pre-school children can contribute significantly to their intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
Real Life: Pills to cure mental ills - Irish Independent Health & Living Feb 21st 2011
A new form of therapy for sufferers of mental illnesses is getting great results, but some psychiatrists are not convinced.
By Ailbhe Jordan
Monday February 21 2011
Mother-of-two Marie Ramain had experimented unsuccessfully with several forms of therapy and medication since being diagnosed with depression 20 years ago.
"I've met seven different experts in France and have gone through several different kinds of therapies," Marie, now living in Dublin, says.
"The advice I got was always intellectual: take part in a sport or a hobby. I've done yoga, I've tried a few activities. But the sense of sheer exhaustion that I've been feeling since I was in high school never disappeared."
When the family relocated to Dublin last July with her husband's job, Marie (36) was referred to Stillorgan GP Edmond O'Flaherty. Another doctor had known of Edmond's interest in nutrient therapy, treatments he and a growing number of doctors internationally believe to be complementary to traditional medical remedies.
Dr O'Flaherty ordered a blood test for Marie and when the results came back a few weeks later she was surprised that he proposed a simple injection of vitamin B12 as her treatment.
Click here for the full article as it appeared in the Irish Iindependent Health & Living Feb 21st 2011
Further Proof Natural Oil – Crystal Mind – Is Far Superior to So Called Hi EPA Oils
A natural Triglycerol is absorbed a lot better than concentrated Omega-3’s and Ethyl-ester Omega-3’s as new research has now proven.
A Triglyceride is how our body is made to use an oil, the Glycerols are in their right positions, while concentrated oils and ethyl-oils are not identified by the body in the same way, nor used or recognised this way.
A higher number of Omega’s - EPA’s and DHA’s may look good on a label claim or an advert for marketing purposes, but that is all it is, it is not as effective or as beneficial as a natural oil like Crystal Mind.
NATURAL oils, with all the Glycerols in their NATURAL positions are far better utilised by our body’s than so called concentrated oils.