- Key opinion formers tackle the difficult issue of children's brain and concentration development at a press briefing in London
Results to date of a preliminary trial of 200 children show that supplementing children's diets with a DHA concentration syrup can lead to an increase in concentration levels. Of the results analysed to date, one third of the children have shown an improvement in their concentration. These successful results have led to a full-scale clinical trial due to start in November.
The preliminary trial conducted on children aged 3-11 years looked at the behavioural changes seen over a one-month period when their diets were supplemented, daily, with a DHA Concentration Syrup with vitamins A, C, D & E.
In a press briefing entitled,' Concentrate on DHA', two leading experts in the field of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition met to discuss why children's dietary habits may be affecting brain and concentration development and what could be done about it.
The key speakers were:
- Dr Michael Crawford, of the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition
- Dr Amanda Kirby, a GP and founder of The Dyscovery Centre for children and adults with learning difficulties.
In summarising their thoughts on the importance of DHA in the diet and the latest trial findings on the high DHA Concentration Syrup, the speakers commented:
Dr Michael Crawford:
"The various trials on the use of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, in particular DHA, make a very strong case for the role of these lipids in the health of the heart and mind. The health of heart and mind is an issue of special importance in the formative years of children".
Dr Amanda Kirby:
"It is difficult to ensure that children eat a balanced diet all the time, especially when parents are working longer hours and children don't always chose the meat and two vegetable option at school lunch time. The use of a high DHA supplement containing multivitamins can ensure that children are not missing out on the essential compounds to help them maintain levels of concentration and healthy development".
Issues discussed included:
- The essential role DHA plays in infants' brain development
- The effects a daily dose of DHA, in conjunction with a healthy diet, has on maintaining the brain's efficacy, boosting learning and concentration levels
- The idea that in a 'quick fix' society, it's time we all 'got real' and found a less pragmatic approach to children's good health and nutrition
- The possible link between children's diet, DHA deficient, and specific learning disorders
- Practical steps and a possible solution to DHA deficiency
With fish and fish oils, which are high in DHA, always being referred to as 'brain food', the results from these initial trials show just how evident it is!
Dr Peter Willatts, from the University of Dundee, commented, "These results suggest that DHA is important in the brain for regulating attention and controlling behaviour, and that concentration levels can be increased by providing a supplement of DHA.
More research is being undertaken, but if DHA does produce improvements in the behaviour of normal children, then there are likely to be many benefits, particularly in the classroom. "