Abstracts - Abstract 1 Docosahexaenoic Acid for Reading...

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Abstract 1: Docosahexaenoic Acid for Reading, Cognition and Behavior in Children Aged 7–9 Years: A Randomized, Controlled Trial (The DOLAB Study). Background : Omega-3 fatty acids are dietary essentials, and the current low intakes in most modern developed countries are believed to contribute to a wide variety of physical and mental health problems. Evidence from clinical trials indicates that dietary supplementation with long-chain omega-3 may improve child behavior and learning, although most previous trials have involved children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Here we investigated whether such benefits might extend to the general child population. Objectives : To determine the effects of dietary supplementation with the long-chain omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on the reading, working memory, and behavior of healthy schoolchildren. Design : Parallel group, fixed-dose, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Setting : Mainstream primary schools in Oxfordshire, UK (n = 74). Participants : Healthy children aged 7–9 years initially underperforming in reading (33 rd percentile). 1376 invited, 362 met study criteria. Intervention : 600 mg/day DHA (from algal oil), or taste/color matched corn/soybean oil placebo. Main Outcome Measures: Age-standardized measures of reading, working memory, and parent- and teacher-rated behavior. Results : ITT analyses showed no effect of DHA on reading in the full sample, but significant effects in the pre-planned subgroup of 224 children whose initial reading
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