EFA's lead to “astonishing” leap in children’s learning
A new study in which overweight children took fatty acid dietary supplements has shown dramatic improvements in concentration and learning, reports The Times.
The research, carried out over a three-month period, was led by professor Basant Puri and followed the progress of three boys and one girl taking a supplement containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. In addition to taking the supplement the children were encouraged to cut down on unhealthy snacks and drinks and be more active.
After three months the children's reading abilities were assessed to be considerably improved, their handwriting was much neater, and they paid more attention in class.
Whilst improvements were reported in almost all areas of academic activity, the most surprising change, said the researchers, was in levels of Nacetylaspartate (NAA), a biochemical indicator of brain development.
Brain scans of the four children were carried out at St George's Hospital, south London, at the beginning and end of the trial. The results showed a higher than expected rise in the level of NAA in all of the children taking the supplements.
Puri said: "The results were astonishing. For all the children there was a marked change, but in the three boys there was a massive, massive increase in NAA."
The study used the VegEPA supplement, in which the fatty acids are derived from a combination of fish oil and Evening Primrose Oil. The study is the subject of a Channel 5 programme called ‘Mind the fat' due to be screened on Thursday April 15 2007.
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