How can Fish Oils help Dyslexia?  

    DRT supported research has demonstrated that many children with dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder (dyspraxia) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD- or combinations of these) can benefit from taking fish oil supplements. These provide the highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) that make up 20% of the weight of the brain. The omega-3 HUFA, eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) is particularly essential for sharp brain function because magnocellular neurones are especially vulnerable to HUFA deficiency. But few people eat enough oily fish nowadays.  Recently the results of the Oxford-Durham study were published showing that 3 months' supplemental fish oil capsules can help the reading, spelling and concentration of children with dyspraxia to improve very significantly (Pediatrics 2005, 115(5): 1360-66).  Furthermore we have noticed remarkable improvements in some of the children attending our DRT clinics after  we have recommended fish oil supplements.  These are being quantified at the moment.

Such improvements don’t only apply to children  however. People often worry that once a person becomes an adult their brain structure is fixed. But the brain is continuously adapting and HUFAs move in and out of nerve membranes quite fast. Any losses must therefore be provided by the diet, because the body cannot manufacture them by itself. So there is much anecdotal evidence that EPA supplements can also help adults. Bernard Gesch has recently joined our group, and supported by the charity, Natural Justice which was set up by the late Hugh  Montefiore, he was able to show that simply adding fish oils, minerals and vitamins to the diets of young offenders can  reduce their
violence by almost one third (
British Journal of Psychiatry (2002) 181, 22-8).

Also we are now conducting a controlled treatment trial of adding fish oil supplements to the diet of adult dyslexics. This should enable us to identify the individuals who might benefit from the supplements and hopefully explain the improvements that they often experience.

How Can Fish Oils help Dyslexia?


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Science and Research - How can Fish Oils help Dyslexia?    

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