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School's DIY Trial Supports Omega 3

DIY supports omega 3

Tuesday, November 11th 2008

Tuesday Nov 11, 2008. By Craig Borley

It's not overly scientific, and the sample is small, but early results are in on New Zealand's first classroom-based experiment on the benefits of omega 3. And those initial results are good, Wellsford School principal Paul Whitaker said yesterday. Mr Whitaker came up with the idea of giving some of his students omega 3 after watching a BBC documentary that involved a similar experiment.

He contacted North Shore-based natural health products company Good Health, who agreed to supply the school with omega 3 tablets, and began the experiment on September 10.

Twenty-one of the school's students, aged between 11 and 13, took omega 3 tablets once a day for the first month, and are continuing to take them twice a day for the following two months.

Another student group of the same size and roughly the same demographic makeup are serving as the control group - not taking the tablets but engaging in the same lessons.

The two groups are to be tested on a range of disciplines, undergoing a series of basic timed addition, subtraction, division and multiplication tests. They will also sit nationally approved spelling and reading tests.

The first of the tests, focused on writing, was completed yesterday.
The control group's writing had stayed at the level it should have. But the children taking omega 3 had shown a definite improvement in writing and general focus, Mr Whitaker said. That followed his expectations that the children taking omega 3 would have higher motivation, more concentration and improved overall basic skills. Mr Whitaker said the students were excited about the trial, and the school had the full support of the children's parents.

Good Health chief executive Paul O'Brien said he hoped the trial would prompt more formal trials in New Zealand to test if omega 3 did genuinely improve the wellbeing of children.

Results suggested it did, he said. "Ironically, omega 3 was routinely dispensed years ago in the form of the dreaded teaspoon of cod liver oil."


* Omega 3 is an unsaturated fatty acid.
* It's commonly found in oily fish including salmon, anchovies and sardines.
* Vegetable sources include pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts.
* Studies suggest a diet rich in omega 3 can reduce the risk of heart disease.
* It may also cut the risk of prostate and skin cancer and improve behaviour in antisocial teenagers.
* Omega 3 has "qualified health claim" status with the US Food and Drug Administration.

Sourced from NZ Herald Tuesday Nov 11, 2008. By Craig Borley

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following supplements are all great Omega 3 Supplements for Children:

Childrens DHA Strawberry
Childrens DHA Chewables
Flax Magic
Naturals Omega 3.6.9 Junior
Omega 3 Gummies
Naturals Babys DHA
Hi-Strength Liquid Fish Oil for Kids
Efalex Liquid

Related health information can be found here:

Probiotic supplements - healthy gut function
Water, the elixir of life

Related articles can be found here:

Omega 3 Fish Oil
Omega-3 Has Yet More Benefits.
Top Marks to Water-only School
Government's Line On Sugary Drinks Too Soft: Campaigners
Working with Children
Ritalin Slows Growth In Children: Study

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

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