Back to Work, Back to School: Get the “September Edge”

Get an edge for you (and your kids) with this extraordinary supplement

What if there was a nutrient that could give your child an edge in school? And what if that nutrient could give you the same edge at work — not to mention a host of health benefits in the bargain?

What if low levels of that nutrient were associated with ADHD and other learning and behavioral issues, not to mention allergies, constipation and eczema? What if that same nutrient was involved in eye health and brain development?

Would you want to do everything you could to make sure your kid got enough? How about yourself?

I thought so.

This is not hypothetical. There is indeed such a nutrient, the vast majority of children are deficient in it and the vast majority of adults don’t get nearly enough.

You don’t want your child — or you — to be one of them.

Fortunately, neither of you has to be.

The nutrient, in case you hadn’t guessed by now, is omega-3 fats.

Universally recognized by even conservative medical organizations as being essential for human health, these terrific fats — the primary sources of which are fish and flaxseed — have been dubbed “wellness molecules” by Andrew Stoll, MD, Director of the Psychopharmacology Research Laboratory, McLean Hospital, and a faculty member of the Harvard Medical School. “Two of the leading natural candidates for cognitive sharpening may be the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA”, he writes in his highly regarded book, “The Omega Connection”.

According to Stoller, new research indicates that even those with “adequate” levels of omega-3 oils can benefit from additional intakes. “A surplus of omega-3 oils may possibly sharpen attention and enhance learning, even in those who had appropriate omega-3 levels before the studies began”, he says.

Many of the established benefits of omega-3’s have to do with “adult” conditions, including (but not limited to) diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, macular degeneration, menstrual pain, heart health and even cancer. That’s why every single adult reading this newsletter should supplement with them.

But the benefits to children are equally impressive. A 1996 study from Purdue University researchers established a relationship between low levels of omega-3 fats and a number of behavior problems including temper tantrums and sleep problems. (1) And a 1996 study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that 53 subjects with ADHD had significantly lower concentrations of omega-3’s than did 43 control subjects. (2)

More recently, a 2006 study from the University of South Australia investigated the effects of essential fatty acids (like omega-3’s) on ADHD. After 15 weeks on the fatty acid supplements, improvements were noted by the parents in 9 out of the 14 scales used to measure ADHD behavior.

“Supplementation with PUFA (essential fats) over 15 weeks resulted in significant improvements compared to placebo in parent ratings of core ADHD-related behavioral and cognitive difficulties, namely inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, with medium to large effect sizes, and also in ratings of oppositional behavior,” noted lead researcher Natalie Sinn.

These studies are not the only time that improvements in attention and hyperactivity have been found with the use of omega-3 supplements. Dr. Madeleine Portwood of the Educational Psychology Service, Durham, UK, found that three months of supplementation with omega-3’s improved the inattentiveness scores for teenagers from an average of 94 at the beginning of the study, to an impressive 17 at the end of the three months. “Evidence suggests that some children and young adults with developmental difficulties have a deficiency of particular omega 3 and omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and supplementation with these nutrients can have an impact on their behavior, concentration and performance on standardized assessments”, she writes. (3) Commenting on the Australian study mentioned above, Dr. Portman said that this was “more support for the benefits of fish oil on behavior and learning”. (4)

Hopefully by now you’re convinced of the incredible importance of omega-3’s in your child’s diet — and yours. The big obstacle for kids has always been that they don’t like foods like salmon, aren’t great about swallowing pills, and tend to not be fans of oil by the spoonful (think of your own memories of cod liver oil). And adults often have many of the same concerns.

Fortunately, there’s a solution.

Barlean’s now makes a line of omega-3 supplements known as “Omega-Swirls”. These products have won multiple awards for excellence, and once you taste them you’ll immediately understand why. With the consistency and mouth feel of a fruit smoothie, they taste absolutely nothing like either fish oil or flax oil. There’s absolutely no oily taste or texture, and the flavors are sensational — strawberry-banana for the flaxseed omega-swirl, lemon, pina colada or mango-peach for the fish oil version.

One pilot study showed that the omega-swirl formulation is even better absorbed than “regular” omega-3 oils. The flaxseed omega-swirl is made from 100% organic, cold-pressed flax oil, while the fish oil omega-swirls are made with Barlean’s fresh catch fish oil, known for its purity and lack of toxic metals.

Either can be taken straight (adults and children alike seem to enjoy licking it right off the spoon), or it can be mixed into juice, yogurt or any beverage.

With Omega Swirls, there’s no reason not to give your kids the behavioral and cognitive advantage of supplemental omega-3’s. And there’s no reason for you not to get the extraordinary health benefits of omega-3’s either.

Your kids (and you) will love the taste, and you’ll love the results.

And you’ll be doing a really great thing for yourself and your family.

1) Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Boys with Behavior, Learning, and Health Problems

L.J. Stevens, S.S. Zentall, M.L. Abate, T. Kuczek, J.R. Burgess

Physiol Behav 59(4/5) 915-920. 1996

2) Essential Fatty Acid Metabolism in Boys with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

L.J. Stevens, S.S. Zentall, J.L. Deck, M.L. Abate, B.A. Watkins, S.R. Lipp, J.R. Burgess

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1995 Oct; 62(4): 761-8

3) The Role of Dietary Fatty Acids in children’s Behaviour and Learning”,

Portwood, MM

Nutr Health, 2006; 18(3): 233-47