Children given fish oil pills improved their ability to read in just three months
Swedish researchers tested the effects of Equazen pills compared to a placebo
Packed full of omega 3 fatty acids, the capsules cost just 13p per each one
Every parent wants their child to achieve their dreams. And now scientists believe they may have found the magic potion to give them a step up in life. Children who consumed fish oil pills significantly improved their ability to read in just three months, a new trial shows. Packed full of omega 3 fatty acids, the Swedish study is the first to confirm that these nutrients can benefit all youngsters. University of Gothenberg researchers conducted a trial of Equazen on 154 children who were split into two groups.
Having previously been shown to be as effective as Ritalin in children with behavioural problems, the capsules a range of fatty acids. Half received three of the pills, which cost just 13p each, of the powerful fish oil tablet, while the rest were given a placebo. A series of computerised reading tests were then conducted to measure the ability of the youngsters.
Those given Equazen showed a 64 per cent improvement in their overall comprehension. While they were five times quicker at decoding jumbled up words, the study showed. Lead researcher Dr Mats Johnson said: ‘We were a bit surprised to see this level of effect in mainstream children. This has not been shown before.’ ‘As a scientist, you always want a second study to confirm your findings, but these are very promising results.’ The positive effect of the supplement was confirmed when those given the placebo were also given the capsules. In response to the findings, public health nutritionist Dr Emma Derbyshire said: ‘It shows that Equazen is having a great effect on reading scores for mainstream children.
‘A child who is a poor reader is likely to show behavioural problems and an inability to focus on learning tasks two years later. ‘Similarly, children who show early signs of behavioural problems are more likely to develop reading problems.’ The research is set to be presented to teachers at an education conference in Birmingham later this month.