NOT ALL FISH OILS ARE CREATED EQUAL!
When deciding which brand to use, the above statement is critical. Just recently, several popular companies were named in a lawsuit claiming they knowingly sold fish oils with unnecessarily high levels of PCB (see article here).You see, since they’re considered supplements, they are not regulated by the FDA, so there’s no one really checking that what the product label claims is, in fact, true. For this reason, it’s critical that you purchase a high quality fish oil from a trusted brand.
One of the best brands around is Nordic Naturals. No, they weren’t mentioned in the lawsuit and yes, they are a leading brand recommended by medical doctors. What’s more, they test their oils through several different third-party companies to ensure purity (no mercury, lead or PCB) and to affirm the claims on their labels. Nordic Naturals has been recognized as offering one of the highest quality, purist forms of fish oil around.
I’m sure there are other great brands, but this one is consistently recommended first in apraxia circles and, more importantly, in the “fish oil” industry. If you read through their exceptional production standards, you should feel good about choosing them.
Which ones? How much to give my child?
There are no official dosage standards for small children in the US (that I’m aware of), however the following has been the gold standard for families that belong to the Cherab Foundation. Through trial and error (and lots of guidance), Lisa Geng, Founder/CEO of the Cherab Foundation, learned that it’s not as simple as just taking fish oil, although a little is better than none. There seems to be a “sweet spot” specific to the ratio of ingredients, in which parents are seeing significant surges very quickly. To read more on the importance of ingredient ratios see this link from Lisa. It’s a long post with dialogue from several parents, but you’ll be able to find why higher EPA to DHA ratios has created surges, why you need a little GLA and more. Below are the specific products and dosage recommendations from the Cherab Foundation. This is what we use and what our doctor, nutritionist and naturopath all approved. Ryan has been on this dosage since he was 2.
- Lisa recommends starting with 2 ProEFA capsules and once the body levels off or you see the surges/progress leveling off, then add in the ProEPA for another boost.
- If your child can’t swallow the capsules, many people prick the end with a pin and squirt it into the child’s mouth.
We couldn’t get Ryan to let us squirt the capsules into his mouth. So, instead we gave him virtually the same thing, but in a liquid version: Complete Omega 3-6-9 liquid or ProEFA liquid. The ingredient make-up is very close to the capsules, and the 3-6-9 and ProEFA liquid are the EXACT same thing – just have different names (one is for general public and the other is for retailers). Recommended dosage for either of these is: 1 tsp/day. Many kids are taking more – we are currently on 2tsp/day and have been approved for 3 – Ryan just now hit 31 lbs. Please make sure your doctor okay’s the amount you are taking if it is above 1 tsp/day. Depending on the other supplements your child takes, you don’t want them to get too much of a particular vitamin (Vitamin E).
I must admit, I couldn’t take the liquid out of the spoon, but with a little encouragement (a.k.a bribery) Ryan did. It took about 2 weeks to get past the resistance, and now it’s a non-issue.
Here’s a compilation of a few ideas other parents had on getting fish oils into their kids, taken from the Cherub group’s messageboards: Ideas for Fish Oils