Children with high levels of omega-3s have healthy brain development

Because omega-3 fatty acids are so important to health, doctors have begun measuring total omega-3s circulating in whole blood, in an assessment called the Omega-3 Index.

In this study, doctors measured omega-3s in 307 children from Ghana, aged two to six, where diets are high in carbohydrates and protein, but low in fat. In a test of cognition, called executive function, doctors asked children to first sort a group of cards by color, then to resort them by the shapes of images on the cards. 

Older children performed better than younger, but children with the highest total omega-3 levels and highest DHA levels were three and four times, respectively, more likely to pass the test compared to kids with the lowest levels. Discussing the findings, doctors said children with higher whole blood levels of omega-3s are more likely to have normal cognitive function and healthy brain development.

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