Omega-3 supplement may improve reading skills in kids
London: Supplements of fatty acids found in fish oil, seafood and some algae may improve reading skills of schoolchildren, says a study.
Children with attention problems, in particular, may be helped in their reading with the addition of these fatty acids, the study said. “Our study suggests that children could benefit from a dietary supplement with a special formula,” said Mats Johnson from Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The study included 154 schoolchildren from Sweden in grade three, between nine and ten years old. The children took a computer-based test (known as the Logos test) that measured their reading skills in a variety of ways, including reading speed, ability to read nonsense words and vocabulary. The children were randomly assigned to receive either capsules with omega-3 and omega-6, or identical capsules that contained a placebo (palm oil) for three months. The children, parents and researchers did not learn until the study was completed which children had received fatty acids and which had received the placebo. “Even after three months, we could see that the children’s reading skills improved with the addition of fatty acids, compared with those who received the placebo. This was particularly evident in the ability to read a nonsense word aloud and pronounce it correctly (phonologic decoding), and the ability to read a series of letters quickly (visual analysis time),” Johnson said.