A supplement of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may enhance reading capabilities of schoolchildren, according to new research from Sahlgrenska Academy, at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Kids with attention problems, particularly, can be helped in their reading with the addition of these fatty acids in their diets.
The study covered 154 schoolchildren from western Sweden in grade 3, from nine to ten years old. The youngsters took a computerized test (known as the Logos test) that measured their reading abilities in a selection of ways, which includes analyzing reading speed, ability to study nonsense words and vocabulary.
The youngsters had been randomly assigned to consume either omega-3 and omega-6, or equal capsule that contained a placebo (palm oil) for three months. The children, parents and researchers did no study until the research was completed which children had obtained fatty acids and which had received the placebo. After 3 months, all kids acquired actual omega-3/6 capsules for the last 3 months of the study.
Mats Johnson, who is chief physician and researcher at the Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg remarked, Even after three months, we could see that the children’s reading skills improved with the addition of fatty acids, compared with those who received the placebo. This was particularly evident in the ability to read a nonsense word aloud and pronounce it correctly (phonologic decoding), and the ability to read a series of letters quickly (visual analysis time).
No children identified with ADHD were included in the study; however with the assistance of the kid’s parents, the researchers may want to perceive kids who had milder attention problems. Those youngsters attained even greater improvements in several exams, along with faster reading already after 3 months of receiving fatty acid dietary supplements.
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids For The Brain
Polyunsaturated fat and their role in kids' behaviour and learning is a growing research interest. Mats Johnson further adds, Our modern diet contains relatively little omega-3, which it is believed to have a negative effect on our children when it comes to learning, literacy and attention,” says Mats Johnson. “The cell membranes in the brain are largely made up of polyunsaturated fats, and there are studies that indicate that fatty acids are important for signal transmission between nerve cells and the regulation of signaling systems in the brain.
Preceding research wherein researchers examined the effect of omega-3 as a supplement for mainstream schoolchildren have not shown positive results, something Mats Johnson believes that this may be due to how these studies had been organized and what aggregate and doses of fatty acids have been used. That is the primary double-blind, placebo-controlled study showing that omega-3/6 improves studying among mainstream schoolchildren.
Mats Johnson said, Our study suggests that children could benefit from a dietary supplement with a special formula. To be more certain about the results, they should also be replicated in other studies.