The Effect of the Omega 3 on the Mental Health

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There has been a lot of concrete evidence that the omega 3 fatty acids can improve the mental health but there have been less scientific research which has dealt with this issue specifically on relation to academic performance. Therefore, the aim of the report was to find out the importance of omega 3 fatty acids in the learning performance of the children.


The Omega 3 is becoming an essential tool in the mainstream medicine. They seem to have health benefits in every age group just from the birth to the old age. There has been some concrete evidence that they protect against the diseases of the heart and can lower the level of triglycerides. However, the omega 3s have been further associated to help rid some dozens of conditions in children.


Omega 3s are collections of fatty acids found in fish and alpha-linolenic acid (APA) which is obtained in the plants. Omega 3s are of two types, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) unlike other saturated fats like meat which can increase the levels of unhealthy cholesterol. They are healthy fats which help to lower the levels of cholesterol and reduce the inflammation in the body. Omegas 3 are essential fatty acids because the body cannot produce them hence its paramount to get them into our bodies either from food or supplements (Watson, 2014). Some of the food products that contain the Omega 3 fatty acid include canola oil, soya beans, fish, and walnuts. Omega 3 are metabolized to produce hormones called eicosanoids that help to regulate the physiological process such as the growth, cell division, blood clotting and secretions of digestive juices. Scientific researchers have shown that children should consume more omegas for good health. The long-term nutrition and diet choices have a role in the way the people think just as it's always said for thought.

What we always eat into our stomach have a very powerful effect on what goes into our mind. Research is increasingly saying that disorders like depression schizophrenia and bipolar disorders may be likely to be as a result of dietary deficiencies than predispositions like genetic. Its true for the individuals who suffer and struggle with the memory loss, have struggled in learning new things (Larimore, 2007). They may be having the Alzheimers disease or suffer from blue moods. Lack of proper diet that tends always to show up in these patients is due to lack of the omega 3 oils.

Omega 3 fatty acid is a crucial ingredient which is needed for brain function. Its instrumental in the brain membranes which are necessary for the transmission of the brain signals. According to mind boosters, authors like Larimore, (2007), Omega 3 fatty acids make the cell membranes more fluid hence improves the communication between the cells of the brain. Lack of omega 3 in the body cells can result in the communication breakdown in the brain, which is the last place you want such failure to happen.

According to Superfoods research authors Steven G. Pratt and Kathy Matthews, the ingestion of the omega 3 fats that make the brain evolve to the next level in the human development

It has been found out that omegas 3s were very abundant in the food diets before the 20th century, but they lack nowadays. According to the Folk Remedy Encyclopedia, brain is just like any other machine which needs oil to help to run smoothly and for this case, Omega 3s are the oil of the brain.3


Three hundred school going children in individual primary school aged between five and nine made the sampling frame. Random method was used to identify the children to participate in the study. One hundred and fifty children were assumed to have poor reading skills. It was based on the judgments given by their teachers at every stage of class. The other one hundred and fifty were thought to be doing well in class also based on their teachers. However, the national assessments at the age of nine were also used to judge them. Parents of these children were also questioned about the diet they typically give to their children at home. The blood samples of the five hundred children were taken and analyzed for the presence of the omega 3 fatty acids.

Limitations of the study

The performance of the children is a critical aspect which should not be studied over a very short period. Many issues other than food dietary also do contribute to poor or excellent performance. All the children should have been subjected to the same environment because some might have been undergoing psychological problems that had affected their class performance. However, it was not clear whether parents gave out correct responses as some might have faulted to conceal public fear on their real family status.


The study showed that many of the children are not getting enough omega 3s which is needed for the healthy brain, immune system, and the better heart performance. It brought a lot of concerns as it was found that low levels of omega 3 fatty acids were associated with the poor performance and the behavior in these children (U.S.A National Research Council, 2009). The study went hand in hand with the results given by the parents that most of them did not meet the dietary guidelines for the omega 3 food supplements. Only a few took the supplements enriched with omega 3 fatty acids.

Blood analysis from the poor performing children showed that on average, most children had less than 2 percent of the fatty acids (EPA) . These were below the level recommended by the scientists which are of 4 percent. The omega 3 fats analyzed from the children with excellent performance showed that most were between the recommended 2-5 percentage levels .In most cases the average of 8-12 has been showed by scientists at the optimal levels for a person eating the balanced diet ( O'Mathuna, 2007). Both parents of the two groups of children gave out their views with the once for low performing children revealing that eight of ten children ate fish less than twice a week, and nearly nine of ten didnt eat fish at all. Parents of well-performing children showed that on average, seven out of ten children usually eat food enriched with Omega more than 3 thrice a week.


Figure one showing the levels of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA) in the blood of the poor performing children.

Higher levels of Omega 3 in the blood were associated with the better performance in class and also with fewer behavior problems as said by the parents and teachers. These results were supported by the earlier findings by the researchers at the University of Oxford who came out with findings that the high omega 3 levels in children can predict the ability of the child to concentrate in class.


Figure two showing levels of omega 3 fatty (DHA) acids in the blood of children of better performing children.

It cannot be a big surprise to say that most children who eat meat do not get enough omega 3s in their diet and hence do not get brain-boosting omega 3. Since the Omega 3 is important in the fetus brain development, children could be mentally disadvantaged even before they were born. Omega 3 fatty acids are conveyed from the mother blood stream through the placenta. They are crucial in the development of the retina and the brain membrane of the unborn hence the amounts and levels of omega 3 a baby receive depends on the amounts of omega 3 diets consumed by the mother (Maisch, 2006). Women who want their babies to have high intelligence should adhere to the omega 3 fats dietary guidelines.

Furthermore, omega 3 fatty acids have been even proven to continue to have substantial importance in the development of the babys brain after birth. Research shows that children who are breastfed get a lot of omega 3 fatty acids compared to those who are not. Deficiencies of the omega 3 have been proven to be the leading cause of the disorders. Mental illness epidemic in the society can be linked to the omega imbalance in the food (Walker, 2008). Depression mainly has been associated with the low levels of the omega 3 fatty acids since they help to monitor the mood by increasing the levels of the serotonin, the hormone that lowers depression. Japan studies have shown that the supplemental omega 3 fatty acids sharpen the memory in patients with depression and dementia and can improve the behavior and speech of Alzheimer patient.


Fish remains one of the best sources of omega 3s and diets preferably lacking in the essential omega 3s fatty acids need supplements. Eating fish frequently helps to keep childs brain sharp and can contribute to hold memories in class as well as when the child grow older.

For better performance of the child in the class, parents are encouraged to follow the omega 3s food guidelines. These should help the child to meet the recommended levels that are very healthier for the development of the brain and other cells needed for proper body signaling (Duggan, 2008). However, in the case of parents who cannot afford expensive omega 3s food or supplements, they should resort to available products such as fish that are very cheap and are within the reach of a low-income parent.

The government should lay strategies on teaching parents about the importance of the breastfeeding children during the first six developmental months so that children should be able to get omega 3s.this is very convenient and affordable way a child can access such ingredients without much struggle of the parent. However, omega 3s is vital components in the childs body which help to get rid of a lot of mentally associated disorders. It also regulates triglyceride cholesterol levels and reduces chances of heart attack.

Evaluation of the sources

Donal P O'Mathuna is Lecturer in Ethics, Decision-Making & Evidence in the School of Nursing, Dublin City University (DCU). He is also Visiting Professor of Bioethics at the University of Ulster, Coleraine. DonalAs original training was in pharmacy, but his recent research and teaching has focused on bioethics. Donal is Chair of the DCU Research Ethics Committee and a member of the St JamesAs Hospital Patients Ethics Committee.Donal's has been interested in doing research in the fields such as evidence-based practice and bioethics, his primary interest has been in the ethical issues involving nanotechnology. This builds on his general interest in upcoming technologies and their potential influence on human dignity. This has led to an increasing attention in posthumanism and developing a response its advocates. He is also concerned about the funding of health research and how this impacts developing countries. Human Donal maintains his research interest in pharmacy through conducting systematic reviews as part of the Cochrane Collaboration.

Another source I used is a book called Omega-3 fatty acids in the brain and neurological health by Watson, R. R., & Meester, F. D in the year 2014.The two great scientists did research which clearly showed a link between the omega-3 fatty acids and health in general, mainly cardiovascular health. The Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Brain and Neurological Health one of the first book to exclusively focus on the role of omega-3 fatty acids for general brain health. The articles in this compilation reveal omega-3 fatty acids' significance the findings from this book has brought out link in the omega-3 fatty acids and the developing brain, multiple sclerosis, dementia and Alzheimer's disease The information in this book involve most of the most recent research, c...

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