Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

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

We did use Efalex for a while but cant really say they helped her at all. They did make her hair go curly and she has still got all the curls and they look gorgeous! I know jimjams uses fish oils and thinks alot of them.

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...

robinw Tue 30-Sep-03 06:26:17

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tigermoth Tue 30-Sep-03 22:28:46

I just don't know what to make of fish oils. My oldest son (9) took an eyeQ tablet twice a day for about 6 months in the spring and early summer. This was mostly to improve his level of concentration at school. Wierdly at the same time his behavoiur and concentration did improve markedly, but I honestly can't say the fish oil was the cause. At about that time he had a grommit too so his hearing improved and his teacher and I had loosly united in a reward/punishment scheme via his behaviour book. So who knows?

I stopped giving him fish oils over the summer holidays, just to see if they had made a difference. To be honest, I don't think his behaviour changed and I haven't started another course yet. He really likes the idea of them though, and whenever he is faced with a challenging bit of homework, asks for a fish oil tablet first. He is more convinced than I that they have done some good.

Just to digress for a minute - his new teacher happens to be the school's SEN teacher and when I saw her at parents evening last week, she said my son had settled into year 5 very well and there were was absolutely no problem with his behaviour - and he is working well in class too. PHEW! this is the first time any teacher has ever said this to me. Long may this continue.

tigermoth Tue 30-Sep-03 22:32:55

just wondering, thinking of that article about the schoolchildren, do you think some children find the idea of taking a 'magic' tablet to improve concentration etc a very powerful idea in itself? ie the tablet could contain anything, it's the taking of it that makes a difference.

Davros Tue 30-Sep-03 22:34:40

Skara, don't know about AS and pencil control but I know my AS sister has terrible writing, can't spell and is rather clumsy whereas me and my other sister are none of the above Maybe a link with dyspraxia? Jimjams may know.

tamum Tue 30-Sep-03 22:48:35

It's a good point, tigermoth, but they were evidently very careful to control for the placebo effect in that trial. They made sure that the dummy pills were indistinguishable from the real ones, so I don't think it's just the "magic pill" effect in this study. I know what you mean though, my ds is very keen on vitamin pills when he's tired, and is clearly under the impression that they'll immediately make him feel better!


tigermoth Tue 30-Sep-03 22:55:05

OH, they had dummy tablets, too? well that theory bits the dust, then.

Skara Tue 30-Sep-03 23:22:23

thanks davros, have been off searching to see what I can find on the pencil control thing amongst others. Will report back on the results of the fish oils too when I get around to buying them!

robinw Wed 01-Oct-03 06:22:34

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kmg1 Wed 01-Oct-03 07:01:20

Tigermoth - just wanted to say I was delighted to hear the teacher's comment about your ds. Hope he has a fantastic year with her.

Jimjams Wed 01-Oct-03 08:17:09

Dashing off out the dor for our OT appointment now (!!! keels over and passes out on floor) but just to say quickly- Skara- kids with AS are often quite dyspraxic as well- so that would go with poor pencil control. Features of AS and dyspraxia overlap a lot in general. I'd look up both. If you are wondering whether your child has AS you may find that dyspraxia is more of a "fit" iyswim.

janh Wed 01-Oct-03 09:23:21

tigermoth, I was glad too to hear your DS's new teacher's comment, and kmg's "hope he has a fantastic year with her" hits the nail on the head IMHO.

DS2 had those 2 miserable cows (sorry) in Y3 and Y4 who both complained about him at every parent's evening ("he fidgets" "he plays with his pens" ) and then went into Y5 with a wonderful cheerful teacher, who obviously really likes kids and doesn't expect them to sit like little silent robots all day, and he did have a fantastic year with her. He was still the same boy, it was the teacher's expectations that were different, and being nagged and criticised all the time is bound to bring out the worst in a child.

So hooray for your DS and his new teacher!

(Incidentally I hardly dare write it but DS1 is actually making a huge effort so far this year - TOUCH WOOD TOUCH WOOD!!!! It has been commented on by most of his teachers and his Head of Year has kindly passed the comments on.)

Davros Wed 01-Oct-03 12:04:50

Can eye q T benefit 'The Human Mind'?

Find out tomorrow night on BBC1

Get a glimpse of some of the outcomes of the Durham Trial on Wed. Oct 1 at
9 pm on BBC1 in the first of a new series: 'The Human Mind.', hosted by Lord

Within the programme is the story of Elliot Brown, 9, who was regarded as
a low-achiever at his school in Durham: eloquent at talking, but unable to get
his thoughts down on paper or read very well. Now, Elliot is enthusiastic about
his homework, has a passion for classical music, and has made an all-round
improvement in his grades at school. His advances are used to illustrate how
fish oil can enhance brain power. And need we remind that the supplement used
in the trial -- conducted by the Durham Local Educational Authority, Oxford
Univerisity and the Dyslexia Research Trust -- was our very own eye q T.

If you cannot wait until tomorrow night, Elliot's story is covered in a
preview article printed in last weekend's Sunday Times. Some broad trends of
the trial are explained by one of the lead investigators, Dr Madeleine
Portwood, senior educational psychologist at the Durham LEA. It all sounds very
positive, but more detailed results have yet to be revealed.

Also, if you want more information about the trial, the Durham LEA have
just launched their own dedicated website:

tigermoth Wed 01-Oct-03 13:08:58

thanks for those messages janh and kmg. Janh I hope your ds1 has a good year too. We are touching wood as well. I do think the teacher's attitude colours things so much. This time last year I was told by the head that my son was more badly behaved that 95% of the chidren in the school and this was unacceptable, so when his teacher in year 4 was off sick a lot in the autumn and winter of last year and I did begin to get a bit paranoid - was the stress of teaching my son and the other 'challenging' children in her class giving her health problems? Anyway, spring and summer were much more peaceful.

Davros, that programme sounds very interesting. From this position of ignorance, I can't believe fish oils could effect such a sudden character transformation in 9 year old, and I wonder what else was happening in his life at the time? I hope the programme explains things - I am sure fish oils must help some children and I would definitely get my son taking them again if his concentration or behaviour becomes an issue. I wonder how long the effects last? perhaps my son is still getting a boost from the fish oils despite stopping taking them 2 months ago.

Davros Wed 01-Oct-03 13:22:27

tigermoth, completely agree as I am a big sceptic about this sort of stuff. I think people often attribute improvements/development to the thing that interests or excites them the most at the time and forget about all the other stuff going on. Having said that, it seems that fish oils are fairly well proven to be beneficial and I say that having given them some years ago and stopped. I'm considering trying again following this thread and the info provided.

miggy Wed 01-Oct-03 15:06:46

Thanks RobinW re capsules. I have a cupboard full of various fish oil preparations, none of which my children will take. In fact boots strawberry flavour one is so disgusting we use it as a deterent when DS2 has a "doesnt want to do something" stomach ache (works well for that!). On the eyeq site, it says they are tiny capsules and 2 are equal to one large capsule. They are available on the boots website as buy 2 get one free.

robinw Thu 02-Oct-03 06:54:08

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jmb1964 Thu 02-Oct-03 22:52:54

I have disocvered that our local supplier of fish oils does mail order - have a look at it here The prices are I think pretty reasonable.
Am I allowed to confess that it was an article in (shhh) Junior over a year ago about the Durham study that first got me onto the fish oil thing, before ds1 was diagnosed with anything. I knew about the links between dyspraxia/ADHD/dyslexia, and just wondered whether it might help.
I missed the TV programme tonight - can't stand Lord patronising Winston - but was it any good?

aloha Thu 02-Oct-03 23:28:59

My ds likes the eggs which are high in Omega 3 fatty acids because of the hens' diet - They are called Columbus and you can get them from Sainsbury's. He has scrambled egg with these once or twice a week.

robinw Fri 03-Oct-03 07:06:11

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Davros Fri 03-Oct-03 08:57:50

Oh, was the programme last night!! Shows how carefully I read everything. I was too busy watching Canterbury Tales......
Agree about Lord Winston, thinks he's a Lord or something (and he's a Gooner).

aloha Fri 03-Oct-03 14:02:27

Hi Robinw - per egg it's 0.7g of Omega 6 and 0.7 of Omega 3. It says on the pack that's half the adult daily requirement - don't know what the dose was in the study. The eggs are free range, no GM and no artificial yolk colours. The hens' diet is vegetarian (flaxseed oils etc). The website is They can't taste too bad, ds ate 2 as scrambled eggs with cheese last night!

robinw Sat 04-Oct-03 07:10:50

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Aniles Sun 05-Oct-03 23:15:38

I don't know how to add a link so you'll have to copy and paste I'm afraid The following address is to a study about omega fish oils. I've found it to be very informative and it may help those who are undecided about the effects of EyeQ and similar supplements. EyeQ does taste absolutely disgusting but it is very easy to disguise in food like youghurt. I manage to get away with mixing 2 tea spoons in one of those small childrens fromage frais and my daughter can't taste the difference. Anyway, here's the address:

worley Thu 18-Apr-13 21:51:02

I realise this Is a zombie thread but was searching for information in supplements and ADHD. I have a 6 yr old ds who has recently been diagnosed with ADHD, his father is very anti medication that the drs want to prescribe and am therefore searching for another alternative to try and help before resorting for the medical route.
My question is, if any of these original posters are still around, how long did they use the fish oil for and dithery think it helped at all?

worley Thu 18-Apr-13 21:51:44

sorry on phone.. do they think it helped not dithery ..

worley Fri 19-Apr-13 06:47:18


Badvoc Fri 19-Apr-13 07:36:38

We use vegepa chewables.
The oil itself tastes orangy and not too had at all.
You need to be looking at an oil with very high EPA.

iAutism Fri 19-Apr-13 16:15:58

I would recommend Green Pastures Blue Ice fermented cod liver oil, orange

Combine with KerryGold butter or grass fed even better

Dr. Price always gave cod liver oil along with high-vitamin butter oil, extracted by centrifuge from good quality spring or fall butter. He found that cod liver oil on its own was relatively ineffective but combined with high vitamin butter oil produced excellent results

They are not cheap but not many in the world make it like it was...

Autism Resource Centre - Early Intervention

Worley, I doubt many of the original posters are around after 10 years. shock

However, my DS2 with ASD has been using EyeQ for many years now and I definitely noticed an improvement in his concentration after about 6 weeks or so. It is very fishy, but DS2 is used to it. It is high in EPA, as is vegepa.

I'm still here. Although now I give Nordic naturals cod liver oils for the vitamin A, so complete opposite to what I was doing ten years ago.

Quite a few of the original posters are still around smile

Whatever happened to robinw? Was she the xylitol woman? (Use that now as well)

fasparent Fri 19-Apr-13 20:16:32

Manchester University Baby Research Unit did a research project some years ago From Pregnancy too age 3 too find out benefits of Omega 3
you can Google and see lost of Positive results. Seems it's a pet subject.

worley Sat 20-Apr-13 00:22:16

thank you all.. I've been around 7 years so was hoping there were some oldies about still!!
saintly.. do you think you saw a difference with your dc?
I was lent some children's chewy orange vitamins with omega 3 in today (?hariborange.. can't remember name now) to try out on ds2, but looked into the eyeQ ones on the net.. I've tried a fish oil chewy gum before but ds2 was literally sick when I made him eat it!! I tried it and apologised to him for giving it to him!
I wondered what had happened to robin as all the posts are withdrawn.

Well they didn't make him speak which is perhaps what I was hoping for then grin

But I do think fish oils are generally a Good Thing. You have to be a bit careful though - I think this is one area where you pays your money you takes your choice.

I think for good concentration the high EPA is key rather than DHA? I'd check the blurb on the haliborange packet. Though expensive ones that have all the right ingredients that they won't eat aren't much use! grin The vegepa ones are more expensive, but are reportedly more palatable, being vegetarian.

I recognise you, saintly, but none of the other names, except maybe Davros. Has everyone NCed?

mrslaughan Sun 21-Apr-13 08:34:07

DS (dyspraxia) won't take fish oils with any sort if bribery, he can swallow capsules, but completely knows what the fishy burps come from. He will however take udo's oil - a vegan version! So we make do with that.
I think every little bit helps.

dietstartstmoz Sun 21-Apr-13 09:04:09

Will watch this thread, despite it being started 10 yrs ago! We started DS2 on eyeQ fish oil chewy capsules a week ago. Will be watching to see if there are any changes in him, he has HFA and his concentration span is very short

Diet, it took 6 weeks before I noticed anything with my DS and it sort of crept up on us. His language came on in a bit of a leap as well. Really tricky to tell if it was coincidence, of course. But 9 years on he still takes them. smile

The biggest difference for me is that ten years later ds1 will happily take supplements (the fish oil capsules we use are chewable) - huge change from having to try and hide everything smile

Some name changes & some just very infrequent visitors Ellen

MummytoMog Mon 22-Apr-13 16:06:18

My private therapist (bit hippy) has been suggesting oil, but not fish oil, basically any oil and an increase in the fat in her diet. This is what we were told to do when the kids had a D+V bug for over a month and it really did the trick in sorting out their tummies. The liquid vitamins have really really helped, so I'm going to try some more oil in their diet too.

Coming in here to the interesting zombie thread! I tried getting my DS to take a fish oil capsule by trying to hide it in yoghurt, my DH still has not forgiven me that from that day to this DS will no longer eat yoghurt (used to be his breakfast, now will only eat rice cakes for breakfast!).

DS however will happily take any amount of liquid vitamin supplements etc (from a syringe) as long as they are a nice flavour (prefers eg orangy type, likes WellKid). Can anyone recommend a liquid (not capsule!) fish oil supplement that is good and also nice tasting.

DiscoDonkey Mon 22-Apr-13 16:51:38

We use the vegepa chewables, but I cut the end off and squeeze the goo out. It's not fishy at all but still have to mix it with peanut butter to get DS to take it.

We also give zinc, magnesium and general multi vitamin supplements. Plus have cut as much crap as possible out of his diet.

thedudes - nordic naturals do strawberry flavoured liquid I believe. I have no idea whether it tastes remotely like strawberries though!

dietstartstmoz Mon 22-Apr-13 22:02:06

Well we are 1 week into the omega 3, and DS2 seems chattier, but maybe that is just my wishful thinking!

donedreaming Tue 23-Apr-13 11:55:45

We're using this - tastes like an oily smoothie but DS seems to like it. I found it at the local healthfood store and higher concentrations than te chewy capsules we were using.
Anecdotal only but concentration and memory do seem to be improving

worley Tue 23-Apr-13 22:59:57

dietstarts - which ones are you using? were about day 4-5 in to using the haliboborange ones. if i have tine atvweekend ill go to healthfoord shop and look for the ones with highest amount of omega3 in.

my ds2 has recently been diagnosed with adhd and as much as i have tried to limit chemicals etc in his diet he is still very hyperactive, has no concentration at school and strugging massivley with reading and writing. although he excels at sports.
anyother suggestions of viramins etc to help? the consultant has givem me a list of medications they can use but ex is very anti medication (he works within a senco residential school and has seen the negative affects if medication on children and unwilling to let me try them)

salondon Wed 24-Apr-13 17:03:16

saintlyjimjams, theDudesmummy - My daughter was on eyeQ lemon flavour. Recently moved her to Nordic naturals strawberry and she seems to like them both. It certainly doesn't smell fishy.

boobybum Wed 24-Apr-13 21:21:24

My DS takes the EyeQ vanilla flavour oil with no problems. I have the occasional spoonful and whilst I wouldn't describe it as pleasant it doesn't taste fishy or make me gag.

Thanks so much, I will try those!

Ps noticed any behavioural effects?

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