Omega-3 acids for children. Which to choose: DHA, cod liver oil or n-3-6-9?

Check whether your child needs omega-3 fatty acids.

Emilia Moskal - AuthorAuthorEmilia Moskal
Emilia Moskal - Author
AuthorEmilia Moskal
Natu.Care Editor

Emilia Moskal specialises in medical and psychological texts, including content for medical entities. She is a fan of simple language and reader-friendly communication. At Natu.Care, she writes educational articles.

Learn more about our editorial process

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Julia Skrajda - Reviewed byReviewed byJulia Skrajda
Verified by an expert
Julia Skrajda - Reviewed by
Reviewed byJulia Skrajda
Clinical nutritionist

A clinical nutritionist, she works in the profession and creates personalised menus and recommendations for disease entities.

Learn more about our editorial process

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Bartholomew Turczynski - Edited byEdited byBartholomew Turczynski
Bartholomew Turczynski - Edited by
Edited byBartholomew Turczynski
Editor-in-Chief

Bartłomiej Turczyński is the editor-in-chief of Natu.Care. He is responsible for the quality of the content created on Natu.Care, among others, and ensures that all articles are based on sound scientific research and consulted with industry specialists.

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Ludwig Jelonek - Fact-checkingFact-checkingLudwig Jelonek
Ludwig Jelonek - Fact-checking
Fact-checkingLudwig Jelonek
Natu.Care Editor

Ludwik Jelonek is the author of more than 2,500 texts published on leading portals. His content has found its way into services such as Ostrovit and Kobieta Onet. At Natu.Care, Ludwik educates people in the most important area of life - health.

Learn more about our editorial process

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Omega-3 acids for children. Which to choose: DHA, cod liver oil or n-3-6-9?
29 April, 2024
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Most macro- and micronutrients and nutrients should be taken by children with food. Supplementation is not usually necessary or even recommended. However, there is one exception.

Because fish consumption in Poland is still very low, many people may be deficient in omega-3 acids, which are essential for the proper functioning of the body. This also applies to children - they especially need these healthy fats.

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From this article you will learn:

  • What omega-3 fatty acids are and what properties they have.
  • How they support the development of children.
  • How they support your child's development.
  • .
  • Whether it is worth supplementing them and in what dose to give them to the youngest.
  • How to choose: the classic ones and the best ones.
  • What to choose: classic omega-3, cod liver oil or a mixture of omega-3-6-9.
  • .

See also:

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What are omega-3 fatty acids?

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Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of unsaturated fatty acids that play key roles in our bodies. They are the so-called good fats, deserving of their name because of the range of health benefits they offer. Their adequate concentration in the body ensures our physical and mental healthand.

Omega-3s can be found in many foods, both animal and plant-based. However, it is important to remember that the body is unable to produce these acids on its own, so it is necessary to supply them with food.

The three main types of omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for health areand:

Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their numerous health benefits and therapeutic potential in the treatment of various conditions. They are key to the proper functioning of many systems in the body, resulting in an overall improvement in health and well-being.

Are omega-3 fatty acids necessary for your child?

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Omeega-3 fatty acids (especially DHA acid) are essential for the proper development of the brain and nervous system. They also have a great impact on the sense of vision. This is why DHA acid supplementation is recommended for both pregnant and breastfeeding womenand.

However, a baby's brain is not at all ready and fully formed after birth - in fact, it develops practically throughout life. This process is most intense in early childhoodand.

Researchers agree - omega-3 fatty acids can have a significant impact on children's psychosomatic development. They have been attributed with properties that improve concentration, memory and enhance cognitive function. They may also support visual acuityand.

Omega-3 fatty acids also support immune function, may reduce the risk of allergies and have a protective effect on the cardiovascular systemand.

Despite these optimistic assumptions, there is still a lack of hard evidence on the concrete effects of omega-3 supplementation in children. Why? Most of the studies conducted to date, have been observational studies, often lasting for several years. Over such a long period of time, it is difficult to assess the role of other factors (e.g. environmental and social) on children's development. 

Additionally, the studies included different doses of omega-3 fatty acids, and to some of them the researchers raise allegations of too short a supplementation periodand. In other studies, children were given vegetable or fish oils that also contained other vitamins and minerals, making the effects inconclusively linked to omega-3 acidsand.

Nevertheless, most researchers agree that omega-3 fatty acids are crucial in central nervous system and brain development, and that their deficiency may result in lower intellectual performance.

Should children supplement omega-3 fatty acids?

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If your child loves oily fish rich in these healthy fats, he probably does not need additional supplementation. However, if his menu is dominated by chips with ketchup and corn crisps (because everything else is inedible), it's worth talking to your paediatrician about additional supplementation.

It's important to make sure that your child's omega-3s are supplemented as well.

It is important to note that children under 2 years of age should only take DHA acid -if you give it in the form of a dietary supplement or medicationand. For older children, you can give a typical blend of omega-3 fatty acids, i.e. EPA and DHA in the correct 2:1 ratio.

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Important

When considering supplementation of any ingredients for your child, consult your doctor. Do not give your child any preparations on your own.

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When choosing omega-3 fatty acids for children, the form of administration is also important. The youngest often have problems swallowing tablets and for them liquid preparations will work well. You can also opt for capsules, which can be easily opened and their contents administered directly into the child's mouth.

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Omega + Vitamin D3 800 IU for children

Omega + Vitamin D3 800 IU for children
4.9
  • Content of omega-3 fatty acids: 300 mg (180 mg EPA + 120 mg DHA)
  • .
  • Additional active ingredients: vitamin D3
  • Form: twist-off capsules
  • .
  • Dose: 1 capsule per day
  • .
  • Sufficient for: 60 days
  • .
See price
in the Natu.Care shop
Product description

Omega-3 acids for children with added vitamin D3 in good doses. The formula fills the daily requirement of EPA and DHA and vitamin D for children aged 2–18 years. 

The Ministry of Health recommends supplementation with vitamin D3. In turn, omega-3 fatty acids are also crucial for the youngest.

The dietary supplement from Aura Herbals supports mós brain function, proper vision and immune system function.

The omega-3 fatty acids are derived from fish oil sourced from anchovies.

Pros and cons

Omega-3 acids for children with added vitamin D3 in good doses. The formula fills the daily requirement of EPA and DHA and vitamin D for children aged 2–18 years. 

The Ministry of Health recommends supplementation with vitamin D3. In turn, omega-3 fatty acids are also crucial for the youngest.

The dietary supplement from Aura Herbals supports mós brain function, proper vision and immune system function.

The omega-3 fatty acids are derived from fish oil sourced from anchovies.

Additional information

Omega-3 acids for children with added vitamin D3 in good doses. The formula fills the daily requirement of EPA and DHA and vitamin D for children aged 2–18 years. 

The Ministry of Health recommends supplementation with vitamin D3. In turn, omega-3 fatty acids are also crucial for the youngest.

The dietary supplement from Aura Herbals supports mós brain function, proper vision and immune system function.

The omega-3 fatty acids are derived from fish oil sourced from anchovies.

User review

Omega-3 acids for children with added vitamin D3 in good doses. The formula fills the daily requirement of EPA and DHA and vitamin D for children aged 2–18 years. 

The Ministry of Health recommends supplementation with vitamin D3. In turn, omega-3 fatty acids are also crucial for the youngest.

The dietary supplement from Aura Herbals supports mós brain function, proper vision and immune system function.

The omega-3 fatty acids are derived from fish oil sourced from anchovies.

Easy to administer

Primabiotic Omega + Vitamin D3 Kids - twist off capsules

Primabiotic Omega + Vitamin D3 Kids - twist off capsules
5.0
  • Omega-3 content: DHA 120 mg, EPA 180 mg
  • .
  • Additional active ingredients: vitamin D3 from lanolin
  • Form: twist off capsules
  • .
  • Packaging: 60 capsules
  • .
  • Dose: 1 capsule per day
  • .
  • Sufficient for: 30 days
  • .
See price
in the Natu.Care shop
Product description

A dietary supplement with omega-3 acids from anchovies and vitamin D3 designed for children. The easy-to-open twist-off capsule makes it easy to administer the contents to your child. Simple composition, without unnecessary additives for the baby.

Pros and cons

A dietary supplement with omega-3 acids from anchovies and vitamin D3 designed for children. The easy-to-open twist-off capsule makes it easy to administer the contents to your child. Simple composition, without unnecessary additives for the baby.

Additional information

A dietary supplement with omega-3 acids from anchovies and vitamin D3 designed for children. The easy-to-open twist-off capsule makes it easy to administer the contents to your child. Simple composition, without unnecessary additives for the baby.

Expert opinion

A dietary supplement with omega-3 acids from anchovies and vitamin D3 designed for children. The easy-to-open twist-off capsule makes it easy to administer the contents to your child. Simple composition, without unnecessary additives for the baby.

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Good for immunity

Ibuvit D3 2000 + K2 MK-7 + OMEGA 3

Ibuvit D3 2000 + K2 MK-7 + OMEGA 3
4.1
  • Omega-3 content: 250 mg (200 mg DHA + 50 mg EPA)
  • Additional active ingredients: vitamin D3vitamin K
  • Form: capsules
  • .
  • Dose: 1 capsule per day
  • .
  • Sufficient for: 30 days
  • .
See price
in the Natu.Care shop
Product description

A dietary supplement containing omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D3 and vitamin K. The formula supports the immune system, the functioning of the mós brain and vision. Moreover, its regular supplementation has a positive effect on teeth, as well as the use of calcium in the body, whichóry supports the musculoskeletal system. A daily portion provides 2000 IU of vitamin D3, which covers the requirement for an adult. Vitamin D3 supplementation is particularly recommendedólly during autumn and winter.

Pros and cons

A dietary supplement containing omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D3 and vitamin K. The formula supports the immune system, the functioning of the mós brain and vision. Moreover, its regular supplementation has a positive effect on teeth, as well as the use of calcium in the body, whichóry supports the musculoskeletal system. A daily portion provides 2000 IU of vitamin D3, which covers the requirement for an adult. Vitamin D3 supplementation is particularly recommendedólly during autumn and winter.

Additional information

A dietary supplement containing omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D3 and vitamin K. The formula supports the immune system, the functioning of the mós brain and vision. Moreover, its regular supplementation has a positive effect on teeth, as well as the use of calcium in the body, whichóry supports the musculoskeletal system. A daily portion provides 2000 IU of vitamin D3, which covers the requirement for an adult. Vitamin D3 supplementation is particularly recommendedólly during autumn and winter.

User review

A dietary supplement containing omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D3 and vitamin K. The formula supports the immune system, the functioning of the mós brain and vision. Moreover, its regular supplementation has a positive effect on teeth, as well as the use of calcium in the body, whichóry supports the musculoskeletal system. A daily portion provides 2000 IU of vitamin D3, which covers the requirement for an adult. Vitamin D3 supplementation is particularly recommendedólly during autumn and winter.

DHA acid for infants

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Infants up to 6 months of age take DHA acid exclusively with breast milk (or replacement milk). If you are breastfeeding, experts recommend you takeand:

  • 200 mg DHA acid - if you eat oily fish at least 1-2 times a week,
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  • 400 mg DHA acid - if your diet is not rich in oily fish.
  • .

What's better: omega-3 or cod liver oil?

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Tran is a traditional dietary supplement that is a great source of omega-3s. In addition to these, it also contains vitamins A and D. It is derived from cod liver and is available in liquid or capsule form.

If you are already giving your child other vitamins, cod liver oil may not be the best idea as you may exceed the maximum daily servings of vitamins A and D.

Both supplements, omega-3 and cod liver oil, have their unique benefits. Omega-3 is more versatile and available in different forms, while cod liver oil offers the added benefit of vitamins A and D. Choosing between the two depends on your individual needs.

And how about omega-3-6-9?

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Since these omega so cool, why not take them all? Well, because it's not about quantity, it's about the right proportions.

Begin, however, with the fact that the body can produce omega-9 acids in the amount needed on its own, so supplementation with them is not necessaryand.

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As far as the other two are concerned, according to the latest medical knowledge, the proper functioning of the body is ensured by the right ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 acids. This should be between 1:1 and 1:4. Meanwhile, in the diet of the average person living in highly developed countries, this ratio can be disturbed and be as high as 1:17and

All because omega-6 fatty acids are found in most processed foods (you'll even find them in chips and fast food) . And if that's the case, you definitely don't need them in a dietary supplement yet.

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An excessively high supply of omega-6 will lead to reduced absorption of omega-3, as these acids compete for the same metabolic pathways.
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Julia Skrajda.

Julia SkrajdaDietitian

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Dosage of omega-3 for children

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Age of child

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Recommended daily allowance

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7-24 months

100 mg DHA acid

children over 2 years of age

250 mg of EPA and DHA acids

Additionally, the intake of ALA acids should be about 0.5% of the kcal that a child assimilates from fatsand.

Omega-3 for children: contraindications

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Omega-3 acids are a safe dietary supplement; however, like any active substance, they can interact with certain preparations and medicines. Likewise, omega-3 fatty acids can be overdosed due to improper supplementation (although this is rare)and.

If your child is taking any medication or other preparations (even if herbal), always consult your paediatrician to start supplementation. To take omega-3 fatty acids safely, follow your doctor's recommendations or the manufacturer's guidelines for daily doses.

See also:

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Summary

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  • Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are essential for the normal development of the brain, nervous system and vision in children.
  • They are also essential for the development of the brain, nervous system and vision in children.
  • Experts recommend the intake of omega-3 fatty acids in pregnant and breastfeeding women, and in children during periods of intensive growth.
  • The following is a recommendation.
  • For the proper functioning of the body, the ratio of omega acids from groups 3, 6 and 9 is important.
  • Deficiencies usually only concern omega-3 fatty acids, and it is these that are worth supplementing. A good source of these is cod liver oil.
  • Before giving your child any supplement, consult your paediatrician.
  • .

FAQ

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. Can children take omega-3?.

Yes, children can and should take omega-3. Give them oily fish rich in these acids, such as salmon, mackerel or sardines, at least twice a week. If your child does not eat fish, consider supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids. 

Choose supplements designed for children that are tailored to their needs. Omega-3s are crucial for brain development and function, as well as heart health. However, be careful about dosage - too much omega-3 can lead to health problems. Always consult your doctor or nutritionist before starting supplementation.

. How much omega-3 for a 2-year-old child?.

Children under 2 years of age are recommended to take only one of the group of omega-3 acids - DHA acid. The youngest should consume 100 mg of DHA per day. Children over 24 months of age can take omega-3 acids in a daily dose of 250 mg. 

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. Can omega-3 be taken daily?.

Yes, you can take omega-3 daily. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA, are essential for heart, brain and immune system health. For example, taking omega-3s daily can reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol and raising HDL cholesterol. 

Omega-3 also supports brain health, which is particularly important in older people. The recommended dose of omega-3 is 250 mg EPA and DHA per day for healthy adults.

. What time of day to take omega-3?.

The time of day you take supplements with omega-3 does not matter. However, it is worth taking them during meals, preferably those rich in fats. The fats in the food help the omega-3 fatty acids to be absorbed into the body even better. 

This method of supplementation ensures maximum health benefits from omega-3, such as improved heart, brain and immune system health.

. What vegetables contain omega-3?.

Omega-3 fatty acids can mainly be found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lamb's lettuce, rocket or kale. You can use them as a base for salads. However, it is not vegetables that are the richest sources of plant-based omega-3s, but flaxseed.

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You can add them to salads, muesli or smoothies. Enrich your diet diet with walnuts too, which are an excellent source of omega-3. Remember that plants are a good source of ALA acid, and you need to consume DHA and EPA from oily fish.

These are the best sources of omega-3.

. Is it worth giving children cod liver oil?.

Yes, it is worthwhile. Tran is a rich source of omega-3 acids, which are crucial for brain and eye development. It also provides vitamin D, essential for healthy bones and teeth. Tranium is also a source of vitamin A, which supports vision and the immune system. 

Give tranium to children, but pay attention to dosage - too much omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and D can be harmful.

. Does omega-3 supplementation make sense?.

Supplementation omega-3 makes sense, especially when the diet is low in polyunsaturated fats. Omega-3 supports brain function, strengthens the immune system and helps maintain a healthy heart. 

Start by enriching your diet with foods rich in omega-3: oily fish (salmon, sardines), nuts, flaxseed, chia. If these are insufficient, consider supplementation. Choose supplements with certifications and testing, confirming the purity of the formulation and the quality of the product. An example of high-quality omega-3 fatty acids is Natu.Care Premium Omega-3 TG.

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Sources

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Blanchard, L. B., & McCarter, G. C. (2015). Insomnia and exacerbation of anxiety associated with high-EPA fish oil supplements after successful treatment of depression. Oxford Medical Case Reports2015(3), 244-245. https://doi.org/10.1093/omcr/omv024

Fatty Acids-An overview | ScienceDirect Topics. (n.d.). Retrieved 9 March 2023, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/fatty-acids

Innes, J. K., & Calder, P. C. (2018). Omega-6 fatty acids and inflammation. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids132, 41-48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.plefa.2018.03.004

Johnson, M. (2014). Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 Fatty Acids: Implications for Cardiovascular and Other Diseases. Journal of Glycomics & Lipidomics04(04). https://doi.org/10.4172/2153-0637.1000123

Nguyen, H. T., Park, H., Koster, K. L., Cahoon, R. E., Nguyen, H. T. M., Shanklin, J., Clemente, T. E., & Cahoon, E. B. (2015). Redirection of metabolic flux for high levels of omega-7 monounsaturated fatty acid accumulation in camelina seeds. Plant Biotechnology Journal13(1), 38-50. https://doi.org/10.1111/pbi.12233

Schmidt, E. B., & Dyerberg, J. (1994). Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Drugs47(3), 405–424. https://doi.org/10.2165/00003495-199447030-00003

Helland, I. B., Smith, L., Saarem, K., Saugstad, O. D., & Drevon, C. A. (2003). Maternal supplementation with very-long-chain n-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation augments children's IQ at 4 years of age. Pediatrics111(1), e39-44. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.111.1.e39

Farag, M. A., & Gad, M. Z. (2022). Omega-9 fatty acids: Potential roles in inflammation and cancer management. Journal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology20(1), 48. https://doi.org/10.1186/s43141-022-00329-0

Medeiros-de-Moraes, I. M., Gonçalves-de-Albuquerque, C. F., Kurz, A. R. M., Oliveira, F. M. de J., Abreu, V. H. P. de, Torres, R. C., Carvalho, V. F., Estato, V., Bozza, P. T., Sperandio, M., Castro-Faria-Neto, H. C. de, & Silva, A. R. (2018). Omega-9 Oleic Acid, the Main Compound of Olive Oil, Mitigates Inflammation during Experimental Sepsis. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity2018, e6053492. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/6053492

Campoy, C., Escolano-Margarit, M. V., Anjos, T., Szajewska, H., & Uauy, R. (2012). Omega 3 fatty acids on child growth, visual acuity and neurodevelopment. British Journal of Nutrition107(S2), S85-S106. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114512001493

Diana, F. M., & Fitria, N. (2022). Association of Omega 3 and Omega 6 and Child Development: A Systematic Review. Nutrición Clínica y Dietética Hospitalaria42(2), Article 2. https://doi.org/10.12873/422fivi

González, F. E., & Báez, R. V. (2017). IN TIME: IMPORTÂNCIA DOS ÔMEGA 3 NA NUTRIÇÃO INFANTIL. Revista Paulista de Pediatria35, 03-04. https://doi.org/10.1590/1984-0462/;2017;35;1;00018

Nevins, J. E. H., Donovan, S. M., Snetselaar, L., Dewey, K. G., Novotny, R., Stang, J., Taveras, E. M., Kleinman, R. E., Bailey, R. L., Raghavan, R., Scinto-Madonich, S. R., Venkatramanan, S., Butera, G., Terry, N., Altman, J., Adler, M., Obbagy, J. E., Stoody, E. E., & de Jesus, J. (2021). Omega-3 Fatty Acid Dietary Supplements Consumed During Pregnancy and Lactation and Child Neurodevelopment: A Systematic Review. The Journal of Nutrition151(11), 3483-3494. https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxab238

Osendarp, S. J. (2011). The role of omega-3 fatty acids in child development. Oléagineux, Corps Gras, Lipides18(6), Article 6. https://doi.org/10.1051/ocl.2011.0417

Roach, L. A., Byrne, M. K., Howard, S. J., Johnstone, S. J., Batterham, M., Wright, I. M. R., Okely, A. D., de Groot, R. H. M., van der Wurff, I. S. M., Jones, A. L., & Meyer, B. J. (2021). Effect of Omega-3 Supplementation on Self-Regulation in Typically Developing Preschool-Aged Children: Results of the Omega Kid Pilot Study-A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Nutrients13(10), Article 10. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103561

Sherzai, D., Moness, R., Sherzai, S., & Sherzai, A. (2023). A Systematic Review of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Consumption and Cognitive Outcomes in Neurodevelopment. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine17(5), 649-685. https://doi.org/10.1177/15598276221116052

Wawryszuk, N. (2023). Omega acids. Everything you need to know (B. Turczynski, Ed.; 1st ed.). Natu.Care. https://books.google.com/books?vid=9788396887818

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Meet the team
Emilia Moskal - Author

Natu.Care Editor

Emilia Moskal specialises in medical and psychological texts, including content for medical entities. She is a fan of simple language and reader-friendly communication. At Natu.Care, she writes educational articles.

Julia Skrajda - Reviewed by

Clinical nutritionist

Verified by an expert

A clinical nutritionist, she works in the profession and creates personalised menus and recommendations for disease entities.

Bartholomew Turczynski - Edited by

Editor-in-Chief

Bartłomiej Turczyński is the editor-in-chief of Natu.Care. He is responsible for the quality of the content created on Natu.Care, among others, and ensures that all articles are based on sound scientific research and consulted with industry specialists.

Ludwig Jelonek - Fact-checking

Natu.Care Editor

Ludwik Jelonek is the author of more than 2,500 texts published on leading portals. His content has found its way into services such as Ostrovit and Kobieta Onet. At Natu.Care, Ludwik educates people in the most important area of life - health.

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