I get a surprising number of people asking about doses of fish oil for their kids.
The amounts may be different but not as much as you might think. If we work backwards I would tell you that the same 4-6 grams a day of Omega 3 I recommend for adults would be good for today’s 16 year olds!
Now there are no solid studies on this but understand that in most cases body mass of a teenager these days equals that of adults 30 or 40 years ago. In addition, the amount of Omega 3 needed is not tied to body mass as much as it is diet.
Women often ask me if they shouldn’t take less than I usually recommend. This is entirely linked to diet and not sex or body mass. So, the answer is usually the same of adults of both sexes and children 16 and over, especially with today’s carb/sugar rich diets!
Guidelines for under 16: When your child is old enough to safely swallow a capsule start them on one a day or break open the contents and add it to their favorite foods like applesauce.
At age 10 you can to 2 a day, age 14 3 a day and then by 16 adult doses.
In spite of constant mention of “potential dangerous side effects” of too much fish oil there have never been any solidly reported. As with all people taking fish oil if you start to see bruising back off for a week and start at half the dose.
There is another reason why you might want to consider supplementing your children.
Behavioral studies suggest that aggressive, violent and disruptive behaviors may improve, along with attention span. These studies transcend age and gender as well.
As always consider asking your Pediatrician if you are unsure, but please make sure they actually know something about Omega 3 biochemistry!
Now more than ever our children could benefit from Omega 3!
PS please keep in mind most of the highly publicized studies that doctors “believe” are done with way way way too low a dose of Omega 3 to show benefit. This will undoubtedly continue until the Pharmaceutical Industry controls all supplement distribution. Then as always, the tune will change completely!