Omega 3s Matter A trial funded by Durham County Council, Australia, with Oxford University, found that 40% of 117 children with learning and behavioral conditions who took a supplement containing the omega-3s DHA and EPA, improved their reading and spelling. DHA-EPA help a part of the brain known as the cortex function more efficiently, and calm down a part of the brain known as the limbic system, associated with lack of concentration and restlessness.
For example, 8-year-old Joe’s writing, below, went from an illegible scrawl into a relatively neat, legible script after only a month of DHA-EPA supplementation. NIH recommends that children get 500 mg a day of DHA and EPA (at least 200 mg of each), but they only get, on average, 50 mg -- a tenth of that. DHA- EPA is also necessary for cell membranes, so deficiency causes inflammation, which can lead to diabetes, allergies, asthma.
60-Year Decline in Impulse Control
In 2001 a self-regulation study first done in the late 1940s was repeated. Researchers asked kids ages 3, 5 and 7 to stand perfectly still. Back in the 1940s, the 3-year-olds couldn't stand still at all, the 5-year-olds could do it for about three minutes, and the 7-year-olds could stand pretty much as long as the researchers asked. In 2001 the 5-year-olds behaved at the level of 3-year-olds 60 years ago, and 7-year-olds were barely approaching the level of a 5-year-old 60 years ago.
Self-regulation is incredibly important for success in life. High dropout rates, drug use and crime are associated with poor executive function, which is a better predictor of success in school than a child's IQ. Children who manage their feelings and pay attention are better able to learn. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=19212514 Could it be that the changes in our food supply are a greater factor in the academic and behavior decline of our children than the “usual suspects” of bad parenting and poor teaching?