EPA and DHA are a type of Omega 3 (essential fatty acids). One of its most important benefits is to give the anti – inflammatory effect to the body. A lot of diseases, like heart diseases, and arthritis, seem to be related to an inflammatory process, therefore EPA and DHA are important as they help body to turn down the inflammation hence prevent some of these chronic diseases.
As for children, studies on infants, prenatal health, and pregnancy, found out that it can help with:
Brain grows at the greatest rate from birth until about 2 years old of life. Over 60% of the brain is made up of fat, 10 – 15% of it is from DHA. It is necessary for the development of sensory, perceptual, cognitive, and nerve system.
Study that was conducted on cognitive function and EPA and DHA consumption shows that children born to a mother who consumed DHA and EPA during pregnancy have higher score on cognitive test at 4 years old as compared to children whose mothers did not consume EPA and DHA supplement during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Attention -deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder. Study have shown that children with ADHD have lower levels of EPA and DHA when compared to those without ADHD, a few small studies look at the consumption of fish oil supplement as treatment, and found out that the supplements might improve behavior, reduces hyperactivity, and boost attention in children below 12 years old.
Another article reviewed a range of studies carried out between 2000 – 2015 found out that the result of consuming EPA and DHA to the benefits of ADHD are somewhat inconsistent. However, an article published on 2019 concluded that combined doses of EPA and DHA equal to or above 750 mg per day for more than 12 weeks have shown improvements on symptoms of ADHD.
There is evidence that when EPA and DHA are added to formula milk, it promotes growth and brain development in premature infants. However, breast milk is the ideal milk for baby, it is also a great source of EPA and DHA, although it varied depending on mothers’ diet it still is the best milk for children.