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Fish oil helps kids concentrate

world Updated: May 31, 2010 00:07 IST
Denis Campbell

Children can learn better at school by taking omega-3 fish oil supplements which boost concentration, scientists say. Boys aged eight to 11 who were given doses once or twice a day of docosahexaenoic acid, an essential fatty acid known as DHA, showed big improvements in their performance during tasks involving attention.

Dr Robert McNamara, of the University of Cincinnati, who led the team of American researchers, said their findings could help pupils to study more effectively and potentially help to tackle both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression.

The study, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is important because a lack of DHA has been implicated in ADHD and other similar conditions, with poor maternal diet sometimes blamed for the child’s deficiency.

ADHD affects an estimated 4 per cent to 8 per cent of Britons and can seriously impair a child’s education because they have trouble concentrating.