Posted in Blog, Rebecca

Brain fats for babies

Yuck! I know what you are thinking: what child would ever want to eat fish, let alone in the form of a pill, capsule or straight liquid? Well, more and more mothers and fathers are becoming aware the important role fish oil plays in brain development. The specific substance that we are referring to in the fish oil is DHA. I don’t mean to bore you with the literal translation of the acronym DHA, but here it is just in case: docohexaenoic acid.

So, here are the goods:

* 20% of the brain and nervous system are made from this particular substance.

* DHA plays a significant role in the normal physical and mental development in a child’s brain, eyes, nervous system and immune system.

* High levels of DHA are associated with reduced risk of allergies and diabetes in children.

* Mums who have proper levels of DHA in their system after delivery have a significantly lower risk of experiencing postpartum depression.

* Kids whose mothers consumed fish oil during breast feeding had higher IQ’s than kids of mothers who consumed a placebo.

* Fish oil improves attention and focus in infants.

Seems pretty important eh? Well, unfortunately in a recent national nutritional survey it was found that two thirds of pregnant women and mothers said that their doctors never told them about DHA. Well, that’s because medical doctors only receive basic nutrition in school. Chiropractors and Naturopaths, on the other hand, receive extensive nutritional training. It is important that you know that.

Anyway, I hope you take this information to heart. Kids and pregnant mums need to be consuming fish oil. It is not an option, it is essential! If you start early, kids won’t know the difference, trust me. My niece has been eating and chewing fish oil capsules since she started consuming solid food at the age of 8months. She calls them gummy bears. As far as I know, gummy bears don’t build brain tissue. There are lots of quality brands out there, even ones that taste like strawberries, so taste is not an excuse. Please also remember that you get what you pay for. Do not buy fish oils from big chain drug stores, Trader Joes or Costco.

Dr. Jason Penaluna, Chiropractor



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  1. Very true article. However, I feel like it’s important to note that fish isn’t the only source of DHA. Fish get it because they eat a certain type of algae which is the actual source of the DHA. So, there’s always the option of cutting out the middle man (or middle fish as the case may be). Some natural foods stores carry the algae and some oils like Udo’s 3-6-9 flax oil with DHA has the algae in it. Just wanted to add this so people know fish oil isn’t the only option.

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