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DHA for Brain Health


January 2, 2013

Tips from life'sDHA

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January is here, everyone is ready to take that step and detoxify from the holidays and one too many sugar cookies at the cookie exchange. This year, when you make the resolution to take better care of your health, include your kids in that resolution.

As parents we are so tuned into making sure our children eat the freshest foods, a well balanced diet and that they get plenty of exercise. There is one important component of this puzzle that is missing from many of our children’s diets and that is the inclusion of DHA omega-3. DHA is the building block of healthy minds and bodies.

DHA omega-3 is a fat that is most often found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel. Most of our children are not eating enough fatty fish to give them an adequate supply of this nutrient. Why is DHA so important? DHA impacts how well your brain cells communicate with each other and it can support memory function and clear thinking. In addition, DHA is a major structural fat found in the brain. Many of us were encouraged to take DHA when we were pregnant because our doctors knew the importance of building a healthy brain for our babies. Our children’s need for DHA did not stop once they were born – there is an ongoing need for this healthy fat throughout our lives.

Recent research looked at the impact of DHA on students who were struggling in school. The DOLAB (DHA Oxford Learning And Behavior) study, which was published in PLoS-ONE Journal, supplemented a total of 362 healthy children with 600 milligrams of DHA from algae (the same type found in life’sDHA products) for 16 weeks. The researchers found that algal DHA supplementation significantly improved reading for the 224 children with baseline reading scores in the lower 20th percentile, compared to the placebo group. Reading was also significantly improved in the subgroup of 105 children with baseline reading scores in the lower 10th percentile. These findings translate to an additional 0.8 month gain in reading age in children with baseline reading scores in the lower 20th percentile and an additional 1.9 month gain in reading age for children with baseline reading scores in the lower 10th percentile, compared to the placebo group.


So what can we do as parents? My kids eat salmon but not a lot and not often enough to get the amount of DHA into them that they need. What if you are a vegetarian? Most supplements are fish based. life’sDHA is a vegetarian and sustainable source of DHA, it is also the source of DHA used in the DOLAB study. You can find life’sDHA in Horizon Organic Milk Plus DHA Omega-3 and Flintstones Gummies Complete Multivitamin plus DHA omega-3.

life’sDHA has offered us some great tips to help keep your child’s mind active and healthy:

Step 1 – Get Moving
Engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day to encourage new brain cells and connections to form. Playing catch, hiking or swimming, are ways for the entire family to exercise together.

Step 2 – Nourish the Body and Mind
Maximize your child’s intake of DHA, the omega-3 fatty acid that makes up 97 percent of the omega-3s in the brain. Find it in fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel) or, if your child doesn’t like fish, look for Horizon Organic Milk Plus DHA Omega-3 or Flintstones Gummies Complete Multivitamin plus DHA omega-3 – these are just some of the products fortified with a vegetarian and sustainable source of DHA from algae.

Step 3 – Embrace New Activities
Continually challenging the brain inside and outside of school through activities such as reading, playing games, creative pursuits like dancing or painting, or learning a new language or skill will help keep your child’s mind active.

Step 4 – Expand Their Social Network
Nurturing friendships and engaging in social activities such as play dates, clubs and volunteering will help keep your child’s mind engaged.

I personally use life’sDHA supplements with my own children and have tried many of their products for adults. You can learn more about life’sDHA, its products and the research behind the importance of DHA in your child’s diet by checking out the following resources:

life’sDHA website – www.lifesDHA.com
life’sDHA Facebook – www.facebook.com/lifesdha
life’sDHA Twitter - @lifesDHA
life’sDHA YouTube – www.youtube.com/user/lifesDHA
Beautiful Minds Blog – http://blog.beautiful-minds.com/

Taking this simple step will make a difference for your child in the long run! This year make a resolution not only for yourself but for your children also!

Here’s to a year filled with health!

Happy New Year

life'sDHA is a sponsor of Macaroni Kid and provided this article for our readers.