Omega-3 & 6 Supplement Lifts Reading Scores Amongst Children By 64 Percent

Omega-3 & 6 Supplement Lifts Reading Scores Amongst Children By 64 Percent
Omega-3 & 6 Supplement Lifts Reading Scores Amongst Children By 64 Percent

Children given an Omega-3 & 6 supplement show significant improvement in reading ability in just three months.

A randomised control clinical trial (RCT) by scientists at the University of Gothenberg in Sweden is the first to confirm that Omega-3/6 supplementation benefits children in mainstream school, not just those with behavioural or learning difficulties

Children given Equazen demonstrated a five times improvement in decoding nonsense words and 8% better visual analysis in comparison to a placebo group receiving a dummy pill

The clinical study is being showcased just before the Education Show at NEC Birmingham along with new UK research that shows 84% of children sometimes struggle with homework, with 54% of parents saying children today are under more pressure to perform academically

Encouraging more children to supplement their diet with omega-3/6 could be the key to boosting reading ability, according to new RCT study by scientists at the University of Gothenberg in Sweden. The clinical study is the first to confirm that omega-3/6 supplementation with Equazen will benefit all children, and not just those with behavioural or learning difficulties.

 

As part of the research study, the reading ability of 154 children who were split into two equally matched groups were assessed with half receiving Equazen and the other half receiving a placebo (dummy pill). Those receiving the supplement showed 64 per cent greater improvement in reading than the placebo group. The time they took to decode nonsense words showed five times the improvement of the control group and their visual analysis was 8 per cent ahead.

The results revealed a significant learning gap between the children taking the supplement and those receiving the dummy pill, with those who had taken the Omega-3/6 supplement (Equazen) experiencing major improvements in reading in just three months. In particular, children with attention issues showed treatment benefits.

The clinical study holds substantial value in the UK where a new survey finds that four out of five (84 per cent) children sometimes struggle with their homework putting families under intense pressure.

With over half of parents admitting their children are under more pressure to perform academically and are being tested more frequently than they ever were, Omega-3 supplementation has a significant potential to help relieve both parents and children of some of the homework stress.

Additionally, the survey has found that fewer than half (44%) of the children in this latest research survey read a book before bedtime and when they do read, attention spans are short.

On average, children concentrate on a book for just 30 minutes and one in eight (13%) can manage no more than 10 minutes. Only 13% are happy to read for an hour or more. This is in stark contrast to the time they can spend at a screen. On average, they can concentrate on their favourite computer game for 53 minutes — almost twice the time they will happily spend with a book. Similarly, just over a quarter (27%) can concentrate on a computer game for an hour or more, compared to a mere 13% who will focus on a book for that time.

So why is that the case? Dr. Hilary Jones joins us to discuss.

Patient Talk:- Can you tell us about the fatty supplements and why they are needed in our diets?

Dr Hilary Jones:- Essential fatty acids are essential for human health and we can’t make them in our bodies so we have to get them from our diet and they’re particularly important in terms of brain function and heart health. For example a growing baby, in the last trimester of pregnancy and until the first year of life, the brain is growing by 260%. 60% of the brain is fat, a high proportion of that is DHA, one of the Omega 3 fatty acids. So it’s essential the babies in the womb and mothers are provided with sufficient quantities of essential fatty acids in their diet and we know from a growing body of evidence that its importance, not just in cognitive function in childhood and as we grow older, it is important in protecting the heart against a number of disorders.

Patient Talk:- How the research conducted and what was were the main results from it?

Dr Hilary Jones:- Well this particular research was conducted on Ecquazen, a supplement with Omega 3 and 6 a particular ratio by weight, so a 9:3:1 ratio. The research on this supplement showed that in a randomised controlled clinical trial by the University of Gothemburg in Sweden, that they were able to increase reading comprehension scores by 64%, in just three months of taking the supplements. What they did was they divided the children into two groups; one group who took the supplements for three months and the other group who just took a placebo. The doctors were double blinded, they didn’t know what the children were taking and they got these significant results. Furthermore, they then swapped the groups around so the children taking the placebo group, took the supplement and they too, showed a significant improvement in reading comprehension, so it was a very well designed study and it’s been peer reviewed and published and its very convincing evidence, after a long line of other research suggesting that it’s not just children with diagnosed learning difficulties but mainstream children with no identifiable problems that can benefit in terms of reading and cognitive skills.

Patient Talk:- What are the best sources of Omega 3 and 6 that occur naturally?

Dr Hilary Jones:- Well, by far the best source is oily fish. Fish like herring, salmon, tuna, mackerel, pilchards, sardines and unfortunately it is difficult to get children to enjoy those foods and even amongst adults, particularly the UK, the US and other developed countries in the world, we know that many, many people, probably more than 95% are deficient in adequate levels of Omega 3.

Patient Talk:- Now are dietary supplements a good or bad idea for children, compared to a diet?

Dr Hilary Jones:- In an ideal world, you would get everything you need from a healthy, well balanced diet, but we don’t live in that ideal world. It is difficult to get affordable, plentiful oily fish, even if you can get children to eat it, so sometimes it is worth looking at supplements, provided they’re from a good sustainable source and they’re researched, they come from a reputable company and what you get on the tin, is exactly what it says it contains and you know it’s safe, then I think something you take (unclear wording) is very well worthwhile, particularly when we know from a survey carried out by Equazen, so many parents are worried about whether their children are getting the stimulation they need to maximise their education and maximise their concentration and reading skills. Even with good tuition, one in ten people in parts of the UK are paying for private tuition on top of their school education so clearly there is a worry that we are not doing what we can currently to maximise our children’s potential.

Patient Talk:- Now are there any risks associated with too much omega 3 and 6 in a diet?

Dr Hilary Jones:- No, you’d have to take very huge quantities, to even remotely come anywhere near causing side effects and I certainly have never met a patient that developed side effects as a result of taking too many Omega 3’s.

New Year Health Top 5 Tips from Dr Hilary Jones

Dr Hilary Jones dispels our coughing confusions
Dr Hilary Jones dispels our coughing confusions

So Christmas festivities are over for another year, while all the excitement and adrenaline of New Year’s Eve is fading fast as we return to work.

And with some forecasters projecting lows of -2° C by the 19th January*, common cold season is well and truly upon us.

Research released recently by Unicough showed that 98% of adults say that they typically develop a cough following a cold or a chest infection, with 40% of people thinking they have become more prone to coughing as they’ve gotten older.

So how can you avoid falling victim to one of the 200+ viruses that can cause a cold this January? TV’s Dr Hilary Jones joins us now with Top 5 tips for staying healthy in the New Year.

Coughing confusion… Scientists unravel treatment myths Find out more from Dr Hilary Jones

Dr Hilary Jones dispels our coughing confusions
Dr Hilary Jones dispels our coughing confusions

New consumer insight shows more than half (56%) of adults ‘usually’ get a cough following a cold or chest infection, with one in five (20%) ‘always’ developing one

 

58% of people think you need to get the right cough mixture for the type of cough

 

Another study debunks the myth that different coughs require different medicines – all coughs are driven by the same underlying mechanism, cough reflex hypersensitivity

Research revealed today shows that 98% of adults say that they typically develop a cough following a cold or a chest infection.

In a recent clinical trial, the largest recent study on OTC products conducted in the UK, shows that one new medicine on the market helps to reduce cough frequency and night time disruption.

While 40% of people think they have become more prone to coughing as they’ve gotten older, 44% still don’t ask their pharmacist or GP for advice when buying cough medicine.

86% of people surveyed by UNICOUGH believe there are different types of cough, with 56% thinking you need the right cough mixture for the type of cough you have.

Yet in a recent publication in the Clinical Pharmacist, Professor Morice establishes that the traditional classification of “wet” and “dry” coughs are outdated.  In fact all coughs are caused by the same mechanism – cough reflex hypersensitivity.

And despite 84% of us thinking it’s important that all cough medicines have undergone clinical trials to prove their effectiveness, the experts involved in the study warn, “Much of the over-the-counter therapy currently recommended is based on custom and practice and is not supported by clinical studies of sufficient quality to meet the standards of modern evidence-based medicine”.

So what should you be using to treat your coughs during the chilly months, and beyond?

To find out more Emilee Senchyna interviewed TV’s Dr Hilary Jones

World Thrombosis Day Shines Spotlight on Deadly Blood Clots – Read our interview with Dr Hillary Jones on Deep Vein Thrombosis


Dr Hilary Jones on Thrombosis
Dr Hilary Jones on Thrombosis
Last Monday 13th October saw World Thrombosis Day 2014.  To mark the day we conducted an interview with Dr Hilary Jones on the subject of Thrombosis.

But did you you know this seven important facts about thrombosis?

1) Sitting at a desk, in a car, or a train for just a 90 minute period of time can reduce blood flow behind the knee by 50%, increasing the risk of thrombosis – a blood clot
2) Other risk factors: Major surgery, such as orthopaedic or surgery for cancer, or extended time in the hospital, heart diseases, pregnancy, smoking, hormone therapy, being overweight/obesity, dehydration, family history and cancer
3) Deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot in the leg) or a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lung) kills one person every 37 seconds in the western world (1,2) – in England more than one in 1,000 adults could be affected by blood clots every year (3)
4) Blood clots can also travel to the brain causing strokes. These types of clots occur in people who have atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat) – a condition which affects over one million people in England (4)
5) New data reveals that 75% of people in the UK wouldn’t know what to expect if they experienced a blood clot in the lungs (5) – highlighting the need to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of thrombosis



6) itting at a desk, in a car, or a train for just a 90 minute period of time can increase the risk of thrombosis – a blood clot
7) There are a number of effective treatment options available to treat and prevent blood clots

The interview was conducted bu Antonia Lipinski on behalf of PatientTalk.Org.

Lipinski So what actually is DVT and why is it so dangerous?
DR JONES Well DVT stands for Deep Vein Thrombosis. This means that a blood clot forms in the veins which lie deep in the tissues of the body and this particularly affects the calf muscle veins. When people complain of pain and tenderness in the calf with swelling and redness it could be that they’ve got Deep Vein Thrombosis. The significance of Deep Vein Thrombosis is this that it is a very common disorder and it can have far reaching consequences. If a piece of the blood clot should break off into the circulation and be carried onwards towards the heart and lungs its means its can cause a pulmonary embolism. That is part of a clot that has broken off and has lodged in the lungs obstructing the oxygenising of blood and that can have very serious consequences and leads to a fair number of deaths every year.
Lipinski Who can get it?
DR JONES Well all most anybody can suffer from deep vein thrombosis. We know that it is more common with age but a young person who has had an injury, somebody who is having surgery, somebody is pregnant and somebody with a family history or a previous history of blood clots because some people have a genetic predisposition towards forming clots in the blood. All of these people, people who smoke even are more prone to blood clots so nobody is immune from blood clots and every 37 seconds one person in the Western world dies from a blood clot so that’s how significant it is.
Lipinski How is it treated?
DR JONES Well we know that we can to some extent we can prevent blood clots in people before it has actually happened. For example if somebody is having surgery we use compression stockings to increase the blood flow through the veins and prevent the stasis which occurs during the operation but more often then not somebody who has a deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism we prevent further occurrences. We treat them. We anti coagulate them. PATIENTTALK.ORG Do flight socks actually work?
DR JONES Yes if they are up to the back of the knee and they are compressing the veins significantly. When someone is on a long haul flight, just as any kind of inactivity would do, it increases the blood flow through the veins and prevents the risk of blood clots so they really do help just as they do in a hospital setting or in anyone who is inactive and immobile for several hours at a time.
Lipinski How is PE different from DVT?
DR JONES Well a pulmonary embolism is where the blood clot breaks off from the leg and is carried up towards the lungs and blocks an artery which the feeds the lung with blood that is ready to be oxygenated. So somebody with a pulmonary embolism will be short of breath. They’ll have chest pain. They’ll have an increased heart rate. They might even cough up some blood and feel light headed. Also they might have no symptoms at all in the early stage as my brother didn’t when he had multiple pulmonary embolisms. Now he is a fit guy. He is an oarsman who rows to a very high standard and he had an abnormal collection of blood vessels in his thigh which he didn’t know about and he wondered why he was a bit more breathless when he was ain a rowing race. He saw a friend who happened to be a cardiologist who recognised the signs straight away. He was treated successfully and those abnormal blood vessels were removed. As I say anyone can be affected and the pulmonary embolism is much more serious because in many cases it can prove fatal if not treated quickly.
Lipinski What lifestyle changes can we make to prevent DVT?
DR JONES I think the first thing is to stop smoking because this thickens the blood and makes it stickier so blood clots are more likely to form. So giving up smoking is a really good step forward. Losing weight or normalising weight so you are not carrying too much weight is good. Reporting any kind of injury around the calf muscle particularly is important. Exercising on a regular basis because when you are using your leg muscles they are pumping and compressing in a rhythmically way the blood vessels underneath the muscle so the muscle pump is a good way of preventing blood clots and improving blood flow. So exercise, giving up smoking and just taking care of yourself are all important, normalising weight, these are all important. Probably nothing more so then recognising the signs and symptoms of DVT. It would be pain and tenderness in the calf, swelling of the ankle and foot, redness in this area, dilution of the surface veins so the veins look more prominent and an increased warmth compared to the other side. It always a good to compare the affected leg to the other side and if you have any doubts at all go and see your doctor and say could this be a DVT.

 

Further regional statistics on people diagnosed with DVT and PE in England 2010/11 can be found at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/hes

 

References

1. Cohen AT et al. Thromb Haemost. 2007; 98 (4):756-764;

2. Roger VL et al. Circulation. 2012; 125(1):e2-e220

3. From prevention to treatment; taking the pulse of NHS services. Bayer HealthCare. November 2013

4. AF Association, A Guide to AF within the Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy. December 2013

5. Data on file Bayer HealthCare. Global online survey conducted in over 20,000 adults aged 18-64 between 17th July-11th August 2014. UK sample size 1,000 adults

6. International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis. World Thrombosis Day. Available at: http://www.worldthrombosisday.org/ Last accessed October 2014

7. Patient UK. Deep vein thrombosis. Available at: http://www.patient.co.uk/health/deep-vein-thrombosis-leaflet Last accessed October 2014

8. Turpie AGG et al. BMJ. 2002; 325: 887-890

9. NHS Choices. Causes of deep vein thrombosis. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Deep-vein-thrombosis/Pages/Causes.aspx Last accessed October 2014

10. Mayo Clinic. Deep vein thrombosis. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/deep-vein-thrombosis/basics/symptoms/con-20031922 Last accessed October 2014

11. Life Blood, the Thrombosis Charity. Reducing the Risk of Thrombosis. http://www.thrombosis-charity.org.uk/perch/resources/1399925355-reducing-the-risk-of-e-thrombosis-crystalmark-feb-2013.pdf

How to boost your mood naturally this Autumn (or Fall) – Check out this great WebTV show!


Happy and Healthy - boost your mood!
Happy and Healthy – boost your mood!
Watch our live and interactive web TV show where Dr Hilary Jones and health writer Sally Brown talk about the causes of low moods and what you can do to improve your frame of mind

Show date: Tuesday 23rd September
Show time: 3pm

We all suffer bad moods from time to time, but do you often feel your bad moods are more common than good ones? And as summer ends and autumn sets in, do you worry your moods are about to get even lower?

New research released by Healthspan has looked into some of the main reasons women suffer from bad moods, with things like a lack of money, feeling overweight, bad weather and even our partners the cause of our mood swings.

But could there be more to our bad moods than our circumstances? Could lifestyle factors, such as our diet, our sleeping patterns and even conditions such as SAD be to blame?

Log on to our live and interactive web TV show where Dr Hilary Jones and health writer Sally Brown answer all your questions and talk about some of the most common reasons for low moods as well as giving solutions for those of us who want some practical advice on how to lift our moods.