Why are omega 3 fatty acids important for learning and development?

At the Developmental Learning Centre, parents often ask me what they can do at home to help their children with learning difficulties. Because we are engaged in a process of fixing the underlying causes of these difficulties, many of these children are enrolled in the Developmental Movement Therapy we offer at the centre. This programme removes immaturities and “roadblocks” on the neurological pathways children need for learning. So the first thing parents can do is to commit to doing our home exercise programme every day.

Developmental Movement Therapy exercises also build new pathways in the brain once the roadblocks are removed. It is hugely important therefore that the raw material for building neurological pathways is freely available for the child’s brain to take up and use. The most important of these is omega 3 fatty acids and the best traditional source for these fats is oily fish such as cod, sardines, tuna and salmon.

Why don’t children get enough omega 3?

Changes in our modern diet of highly processed foods and mercury pollution of the oceans has meant that children do not get sufficient omega 3 fats in their diet to build free flowing neural pathways. These fats also assist to form a coating on the nerves called myelin, which acts as a conductor, helping messages to flow quickly and easily through the new pathways.

What is the best supplement of omega 3 fatty acids?

Recent research has shown the best possible supplement to use for omega 3 fats is Krill Oil. This is a high quality, easily absorbed source of these fats which you can purchase at your local health food store. One clinical study of 18 boys diagnosed with ADHD, conducted by Dr Hogne Wik, showed significant improvement in behavioural scores and in EEG measurements after using krill oil daily for 3 months. 

Another study on adults with ADHD in 2007 showed taking 500mg of krill oil daily for 6 months resulted in:

  • 60 % improvement in the ability to concentrate
  • 50 % improvement in planning skills
  • 49% improvement in social skills. 

Some children have shown so much improvement in their behaviour that they have been able to reduce, or go off, Ritalin and Concerta as a result. I find it amazing that a humble little sea creature, the favourite food of the mighty whale, can make such a significant difference to the learning and behaviour of these children. Combined with movement therapy, krill oil can be a powerful tool for recovery from ADHD. 

Do you think your child is showing symptoms of learning difficulties?

Call 0800 543 399 or Request a free call back with the Developmental Learning Centre to understand if how your child could benefit from our natural and holistic therapies.