learning difficulties: dyslexia & fatty acids

Is a deficit in essential fatty acids to blame for the four-fold increase in dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and other specific learning difficulties that we have seen over the last 20 years?



There have been a multitude of studies, which have shown that abnormal levels of fatty acids in the brain could be behind the practical and behavioural problems experienced by dyslexic children, as well as those with dyspraxia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).



Many research papers show that underachieving children, improved dramatically when their diets were supplemented with fish oils. The fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for brain development and function but are largely missing from modern processed diets.



Two products containing fatty acids; are ‘Efalex’ and ‘Eye q Micro’. These products contain long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that appear to play an important role in the development of the eye and brain especially vision, co-ordination, memory and concentration.



a natural approach to fatty acids

If you would like a more natural approach, the best way to consume your essential fatty acids is through your diet.



New research by the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research in Wales, has shown that organic milk contains two-thirds more omega-3 essential fatty acids than ordinary milk.

People who do not want to take fish supplements can take Flax seeds or Flax seed oil; these are an excellent source of omega 3, (EFA's). The body transforms it into EPA and the EPA into DHA.

Many foods contain essential fatty acids, (EFA's), including:



• Oily fish, for example: Anchovies, Halibut. Herring, Mackerel, Pilchards, Salmon, Sardines, Fresh Tuna, Trout, Turbot and Whitebait.


* Other Seafood, including: Eels, New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels, and shark.
* Flax seeds or flax seed oil.
* Milk, especially organic milk.
* Pumpkin seeds & oil.
* Rapeseed oil (Canola oil).
* Soybeans & Soybean oil.
* Walnuts & Walnut oil.
* Wheat germ.

If you are a vegetarian you can still get adequate fatty acids, go to: dyslexia and fatty acids for vegetarians.

More comprehensive advice on fatty acids is available in the 'Health & Dyslexia Section'.


 

There have been a lot of studies over the last few decades, which have concluded that abnormal levels of fatty acids in the brain could be behind the practical and behavioural problems experienced by dyslexic children, as well as those with dyspraxia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

 

Many parents of dyslexic, dyspraxic and ADHD children now give their children these supplements – some parents have had remarkable results.


Many of the parents attending the Swindon Dyslexia Centre, say that within a very short period of time their child is calmer, can concentrate better and has started to catch up with his reading and writing. This does not appear to help everyone but it is certainly worth trying.

 

Further dietry information on Fatty Acids, Iron deficiencies, zinc deficiencies and Salicylates can be found on the Health Section (Diet and Nutrition - Fatty Acids) on our site.