2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Fish Oil and Your Child’s Brain

Posted 07/26/2006

Fish oil bolsters your health in numerous ways: it’s a natural anti-inflammatory, helps prevent heart disease, stroke, and age-related macular degeneration, and boosts your stress-buffering serotonin.

Do you remember your mom saying “fish is brain food”? Turns out she’s right.

Studies conducted over the past few years have shown that one of the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil–DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)–is vital for healthy human brain development. The children of women who took DHA supplements during pregnancy showed enhanced intelligence, better visual performance, and quicker learning.

Analyzing a lot of accumulated data, the prestigious Harvard Center for Risk Analysis predicted that for every 100 mg of DHA taken during pregnancy, a child’s IQ increased by 0.13 points. That means if you get 2 to 2.5 grams of DHA a day during pregnancy, you can boost your child’s IQ by a full 5 to 6 points.

This isn’t difficult if you eat fish and take fish oil supplements, but part of the challenge is finding mercury-free fish. Mercury is toxic to the developing fetal brain, and mercury-free fish is expensive and available only from certain retailers or online. Many of my patients instead take fish oil supplements, pills or liquid, which are virtually mercury-free.

You can now find surprisingly tasty fish oil concentrates for daily use. Here’s the dosing I recommend:

  • Pregnant women–1 to 2 grams of fish oil daily.
  • When your child is old enough for a liquid vitamin (about age 4)–daily dose of 500 mg fish oil.
  • DHA has also become an important nutritional tool for children and teenagers with behavioral and learning problems. If your child has one of these, the fish oil dose is 500 mg to1 gram daily.

Click here to see the liquid fish oil I recommend.

 


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Upcoming Workshops


**Winter Solstice Celebration: An evening of Acupuncture and Shamanic Healing
Tuesday, December 17, 5:45–7:30pm
Hosted by Katie Oberlin, HTCP and Mari Stecker, LAc

Course Fee: $75.00

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to enter the stillpoint of the Winter Solstice, reflect on the lessons of 2019, and set intentions for the new year. This will be an evening of individual and group healing, ceremony, and celebration. More →

Recent Health Tips

  • Preparing for the Wuhan Coronavirus

    Seems like only yesterday, though actually it was 2003, that a viral infection called SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) meandered around the world after starting at a live animal market China. For those affected, what first appeared to be an especially bad cold quickly became something ominous, progressing to a potentially fatal pneumonia. Ultimately there were 8,098 cases of SARS around the world with 774 Read More

  • Infertility Issues? Start With The Guy

    I’ve lost track of the number of couples we treat at WholeHealth Chicago who are involved in one of the hormone injection/surgical procedure stops on the conveyor belt of infertility centers. Currently, it’s estimated that 15 to 20 percent of couples are struggling with infertility, half of them due to male factors. The infertility docs are nice enough and certainly well-meaning, but I note a Read More

  • Issues with Endocrinologists: Thyroid Approaches and Big Pharma

    My beefs with endocrinologists pretty much center on how they manage thyroid gland concerns, though they rarely win prizes for managing adrenal issues either. I don’t know any endocrinologists personally and rarely refer my patients to them. Occasionally, a patient with newly diagnosed hypothyroidism (low thyroid) will want to confirm the diagnosis with an endocrinologist. I suggest she prepare for a scolding if she’s taking Read More

Join our Discount Program!

Member benefits include 10% off all your purchases. Low, one-time membership fee of $25 ($35 for family).

MORE INFORMATION