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Fish Oils

(75 Posts)
eidsvold Mon 22-Sep-03 18:14:34

Just curious - dh and I are thinking of starting to use them with dd - we are primarily concerned with boosting her immune system know that she is in nursery and help her system to recover quicker from colds etc as well as any other benefits.

Does anyone use them and what do you think?

fio2 Mon 22-Sep-03 18:17:20

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Davros Mon 22-Sep-03 18:41:04

We used Efalex and couldn't see any difference. There's also EyeQ (from Boots I think) which has become popular recenlty. Be warned though, some children do have a severe reaction to fish oils!! I thought it was like drinking a glass of milk but its not that straightforward. One kid I know went off the planet. You also can't give them with certain medications, such as epilepsy meds (check up though to make sure).

eidsvold Mon 22-Sep-03 20:17:52

I would not start them without checking with the paed but just wanted to know what others thought.

Thanks so much for letting me know.

Jimjams Tue 23-Sep-03 13:51:15

I've used them for a while now. Trials have shown them to be particularly useful for dyspraxia and ADHD. I use them for dyspraxia and have found them helpful. I haven't heard of them being used for an immune system boost, and I have heard not to give them below the age of 2 (flax oil is recommended as being good as is hemp oil- both can be massaged onto young babies as they taste a bit gross).

I buy a brand from the states as its supposedly the best brand for verbal dyspraxia. Efalex has some good trials behind it (for dyspraxia) (although since then the company has been bought out- not sure whether they canged the formula). I know some special schools started to recommend it as well.

The only other thing to be careful of is epilepsy as some brands contains EPO. Oh and make sure its fish oil you give and not fish liver oil (too much vitamin A).

tallulah Tue 23-Sep-03 17:51:48

I tried Efalex, EyeQ and the liquid on my 2 (dyspraxia/ADHD). They couldn't swallow the tablets & didn't like the taste or texture of the liquid so we gave up. Didn't seem to make any difference, but then I don't think we gave it a fair trial.

I tried the tablets myself because they made such a fuss, & really sympathised when I gagged & heaved..

Davros Tue 23-Sep-03 19:08:58

My husband had some Efalex once, convinced it would turn him into Einstein (ASD link . He stank like an old haddock for about a day and never went near it again.
If you do decide to use it, I think you should print off a grid/timetable from your computer so you can note AT THE TIME any differences you see. You can also easily keep track of how much you gave, what time of day etc.

Jimjams Tue 23-Sep-03 20:08:17

For dyspraxia- expect to see any improvement after about 6 weeks. Efalex tastes and smells disgusting and gives you fishy burps. My ds1 caqn't swallow capsules but the stuff we give him doesn't smell to bacd. I cut open a capsule and add it to his toast and honey each morning.

robinw Sun 28-Sep-03 14:11:19

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SoupDragon Sun 28-Sep-03 15:27:34

I was more interested in how they got the fish oils into the children! I'm sure mine would spot it a mile off.

Davros Sun 28-Sep-03 15:28:19

Did the children in the study have SEN?

tamum Sun 28-Sep-03 16:06:14

I just finished reading this. No Davros, they weren't classified as SEN, although the child who showed the most dramatic improvement clearly had enormous difficulties concentrating. His mother said that since starting on the fish oils he's developed a taste for classical music and is badgering her to take him to see the Moscow ballet. (I am trying very hard not to snigger, but I realise that's v. unworthy and nasty of me ) It all sounds very anecdotal, but not to be dismissed out-of-hand, I guess. They were apparently, as robinw says, all children who were struggling a bit, but within the normal spread of abilities. There's going to be a website up tomorrow, but it just says that it is being *considered* for publication in the Lancet.

Davros Sun 28-Sep-03 16:09:26

I thought you were going to say he's developed a taste for fish! If he's getting into ballet he should get one of those lycra suits!

Jimjams Sun 28-Sep-03 19:35:17

Meadelaine Portwood who ran the study is **the* UK expert on dyspraxia- she's completed a few studies on fish oils now.

I expect the kids had them in a capsule. DS1 can't swalow capsules so we put it on his toast and add loads of honey.

tamum Sun 28-Sep-03 19:57:24

Jimjams, I'm really sorry, I didn't mean to scoff. It was just the transformation from disruptive child to raging aesthete that I couldn't help giggling about. What I thought would be very interesting to know was whether, of the 40% of children who responded well, there were any particular differences in their normal diet, so the fish oils were making up for a deficiency of some sort, or whether they give an extra boost regardless. Do you know if that's been looked at?

Jimjams Sun 28-Sep-03 20:12:36

NO don;t worry I laughed when I read that bit as well. I also wondered whether they were getting any other input during the course of the study - so in some ways I'm even more of a cynic.

A book I have at home (The LCP connection) says "That common basis, in the studies conducted so far, strongly suggests a defect in fatty acid metabolism..." I think the idea is that the diet has - over the last 100 years- changed so that far fewer fish oils are consumed than previously (or more accurately far fewer LCP's) Hence the increase in learning disorders etc, for susceptible individuals (I suppose with the defect in fatty acid metabolism) and why the outcome can be quite dramatic for some cases. We did see improvements in ds1's dyspraxia when we added fish oils. He had other signs of fatty acid problems though- with very dry scaly skin and dry scaly eczema patches. And as I wrote that I realised that they disappeared a few months after introducing the oils- having had them for several years- and his skin is now clear.

Hmmmmm. Who knows.......

Furball Sun 28-Sep-03 22:08:18

My 2 year old (not a SN child) has had a teaspoon of eye-q oil in his milk every morning (yuck!)for over a year - he loves it. It started when he had really, really dry skin as baby and tried every cream on the shelf. My FIL (not an expert)suggested 'oiling him up from the inside' and said to try cod liver oil. When I got to Boots, I asked the vitamin consultant which cod liver oil to try, she said that DS shouldn't have it at his age, but he could have the Eye-Q oil, which at £10 a bottle, thought it was abit steep. But it does last for ages. Anyway, he's had it ever since and it has really cleared his skin and has no dry patches at all. As to boosting his immune system, I don't know. Sorry to waffle abit, but thought it interesting it cured Jimjams' DS of dry skin too.

jmb1964 Mon 29-Sep-03 00:17:05

We had amazing results with fish oils - some stuff from a local health store which has omega-3 oils in it, and one capsule of EPO as well. We started it because ds1 seemed very slow to grasp (ha ha) holding a pencil. He went on to be diagnosed with Aspergers, but we did see a rapid improvement of pencil control - learnt to write his name in the space of a few weeks - that might have happened anyway. His eczema improved dramatically too, but ditto. He swallows 2 huge and 1 medium capsule each evening (shop suggested this, as if you give it with breakfast they get fishy burps all day) without complaint, and I have also recently added some magnesium, which is in the form of a large chalky white tablet, which he also swallows quite happily - don't know how he does it! Don't dare stop it now, in case he suddenly regresses.
I haven't read much about it all (yet) but interested to hear about the LCP link - perhaps I should resurrect my guilt about failing to breastfeed properly?

robinw Mon 29-Sep-03 07:33:38

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princesspeahead Mon 29-Sep-03 09:08:47

that's really interesting furall and jimjams (re dry skin). if anyone can find out what the sardine supplement was that was used in the trial I'd be interested because my dd has a "concentration problem" according to her school. and ezcema, so might help one or the other. and clever to give it at night so the burps don't bother all day

Jimjams Mon 29-Sep-03 09:13:25

A lot of the original studies were done on Efalex (which gives particularly fishy burps)- although the company has since been bought out and I think the original formula was altered. An alternative is EyeQ. If you don't see any imporvement after about 6 months then it might be worth switching brands. Other cheaper alternatives are things like Flax oil or hemp oil. As well as the fish oils I add ground up hemp seeds to the boys bread. All are fairly similar. I use proEFA from the States- but just because it has had the best results with verbal dyspraxia - its made by Nordic Naturals and I think you can get it here but under another name (I had to order something from the american website anwyay.

Jimjams Mon 29-Sep-03 09:14:06

You can put flax/hemp oil directly onto the skin btw, as well as eating it.

maryz Mon 29-Sep-03 12:57:14

Now I know why ds1's excema has cleared up! He has been on IQ and I have noticed a huge improvement in his general aspie behaviour, but the skin clearing up must be a bonus.

tamum Mon 29-Sep-03 18:21:52

OK, the website about the trial appears to be live now, it's here . I can't see anything about *exactly* what was in the capsules, but I have only glanced at it. It looks a very well-designed study. I have eaten my words

Skara Mon 29-Sep-03 19:23:36

Jumping in and at a bit of a tangent here, is there a link between Aspergers and pencil control (or lack of it)? Jmb1964, how old was your ds when he was diagnosed? Am now intrigues about these oils and off to have a look online and see about buying some...

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