Brands & Dosage Information

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. 

Usual recommended dosage:  2 ProEFA capsules + 1 ProEPA capsule/day.  

  • 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

29 Responses to Brands & Dosage Information

  1. michelle says:

    Thanks for sharing this info! My 21 month old son is not talking even after 4.5 mos of speech therapy through early intervention (apraxia has been mentioned as a possibility). I started him on the liquid ProEFA but am not working with a doctor on dosage (his pediatrician isn’t familiar with it). Nordic Naturals recommended 1/2 TSP as dosage for his weight (27 lbs) and wouldn’t clarify when to increase his dose.

    Could you tell me what kind of doctor is advising you on dosage? We’re in the Philadelphia area and about to start seeing a naturopath due to my son’s recently diagnosed iGA deficiency, but not sure if she can advise us on fish oil dosage?

    Thanks for any help!

    • svraciu says:

      Michelle:

      Just sent you a personal email, but in case anyone reads this thread, I wanted to respond again. Basically a general practitioner, naturopath and DAN! doc all approved the dosages we give Ryan. Also, if you check out the Cherab Foundation, this is the dosage most widely used by group members.

  2. Claudia Hernandez-Halper says:

    Thanks for all the great info. I’m so glad I found this blog. We just started my son on the ProEFA liquid, but I’m a bit confused. On the info I saw for the Cherab foundation, they say that 2 Pro EFA capsules = 1/2 tsp. of the liquid. But it sounds like you are saying 2 capsules = 1 tsp. of liquid. Could you please clarify? I will do the math when I get the liquid (we’re on the capsules now, but want to switch), but figured I would check with you to clarify. Thanks!

    • svraciu says:

      Hey Claudia:

      Sorry for the confusion. I checked back on my math and here’s the deal. The reco’d dosage on the liquid is 1 tsp (on the bottle). The closest liquid dosage that equals what’s in 2 ProEFA capsules is 1/2 tsp of liquid. And, when you add in the ProEPA, it is still fairly close, although you could argue either way that you’re close enough with either 1/2 tsp of liquid or a full 1 tsp of liquid given some of the EPA and other ratios present (it’s not a perfect comparison). We started Ryan with 1/2 tsp to ensure there were no side effects, however because we later find out that kids are not always absorbing things at the appropriate level, we felt okay to give more. We also checked with several docs (as I mentioned in my blog) and all approved us to go up to 3 tsp. Now looking back that seems really high, but the docs who know a thing or two about essential fatty acids seemed okay with this. We increased RYan to 1 tsp and eventually to 2 tsp daily. Any time we took him off this for a week or so, we saw massive regressions (attitude, speech, sleep, etc). Once we put him back on he bounced back within 3-4 days. Wierd. So…we worked our way up to 2 tsp a day and stayed there until the last few weeks. Since so many improvements have been made with NutriiVeda so far, I decided to see if we could back off some of the fish oils without regressions. We moved back down to 1 tsp/day and after a full week haven’t seen any regressions yet…I’ll post if something changes. They need the fish oils regardless, it’s just a matter of how much. I don’t think whether it’s 1/2 tsp or 1 tsp it can make too much of a major difference in regards to getting too much, however that depends, I’m sure, on what else your son is taking supplement-wise. Sorry for the confusion and I’ll go back in my blog and clarify so as not to confuse others.

      Also, if you’re on the capsules and your son is taking them with ease, it’s been said they are better than the liquid in regards to lasting longer. It’s hard to travel with the liquid and every time you take the cap off it’s supposed to be oxidizing a little each time. Obviously hasn’t been an issue for us so far, but it can go rancid more quickly and they say if it’s in the capsules it’s not exposed to air until you prick the tip. You know what’s easiest for your family and you really can’t go wrong either way, but I just wanted to point that out. The Cherab group talks about that somewhere in their archives…if you’re interested in learning more and can’t find it, let me know and I’ll track it down.

      Good luck!
      Sharon
      svraciu@hotmail.com

      GOod luck

  3. Claudia Hernandez-Halper says:

    thanks so much for all the info, Sharon. I think we’ll go with the liquid as I imagine we would only need it for a few months anyway. We could keep a bottle of the pills for when we travel, which is pretty seldom. We have not started the ProEPA, but intend to soon. He was on the Cod Liver Oil, but we just took him off it after what we’ve read. He’s also on a probiotic, but that’s about it. We’ve tried diets and other supplements with little success. We’re hoping that the fish oil and Nutriiveda have some good effects on his apraxia.
    Thanks–I’ll probably be back with more questions 🙂

  4. Bailey says:

    Thanks to you and Ryan for helping others while going though your journey to success. We started intervening with our son who is 2.8 and suffering from SPD, Speech delays, some Dr.s say Autism, some don’t. After seeing Nancy Kaufmann for a speech evaluation she said maybe Apraxia, but she also mentioned ruling out Autism. We started him on Carlson’s Fish oils and then after seeing a DAN Dr. Who recommended SPEAK fish oils, we started with those. All I can say is OH MY GOSH! My son has a voice! Literally the next day he said, “Dad” A day later it was ,”Dad, Cat, Ball” 2 months later,and he has added about 60 words to his vocab, and about 5 new ones each day. I think soon, very soon, there will be more answers out there just from people sharing their stories.

    • svraciu says:

      Thanks for checking out our blog. I have been AWFUL about updating lately – we’ve recently moved and had our 3rd baby so I just feel terrible for not keeping everyone up to date on how Ryan is doing (which is FABULOUS! by the way). I agree that in those of us who share our stories shed a light on a whole other way to look at healing a special needs child. Thanks for commenting and I hope your journey continues to progress positively.

    • Tiffani says:

      Hello Bailey, Could please share where to order for Speak fish oils? Did you continued with Carlsons fish oil as well as Speak fish oil ?

  5. Can someone help me with something? We’ve been on fish oil for awhile (also NN), but not this specific protacol). We still have no speech at 4 yrs old, and I really want to do this. I want to do the liquid, but I don’t want to screw it up. Are you saying to use Omega 369 instead of both capsules, or to use Omega 369 together w/ the ProEFA liquid. Based on the ingredients, I’m thinking the former, but I want to be sure. It looks like 1 tsp of the Omega 369 is the total EPA of both pills, but then the DHA, GLA, OA, and other omegas are much higher. Also, neither liquid has LA (not sure what that is). Can you help? Thanks so much!!!!

    • svraciu says:

      Hey Joanne.

      Sorry I’m just now getting back to you. I think the recommended way to go is the capsules I mentioned in the blog post. Mostly because they stay fresher longer, are more easily transportable and have a LITTLE bit different ratio of ingredients than the liquid. However, for those of us who can’t get our kids to take the liquid straight out of the capsule, the liquid is the next best thing. I’d do the capsules first, but if you can’t get that to work, option 2 (which I did for our son) would be EITHER The 3,6,9 liquid or the ProEFA liquid. Those 2 liquid products are the exact same thing so just choose whichever you can find. We order the 3,6,9 off amazon for around $25ish – the only place locally I can find it is Whole Foods and they sell it for $30+ so I can usually order cheaper online and most always find a free shipping deal.

      So…all of this to say that the 3,6,9 and ProEFA are the exact same product – just named differently. I think the ProEFA is sold to professionals (doctor’s offices, naturopath’s etc) to sell in their offices, while the 3,6,9, is what’s sold in our regular retail stores. The different names are purely for marketing purposes.

      The liquid is not exactly the same as the capsule combo, but it as close as you can get and still proved to show results for us and many others. When you do the math, 1 tsp gets you close, with some of the ingredients being much higher doses, but it still works well and is the “go-to” liquid when you can’t do the capsules.

      Hope this helps!! Let me know if you have any other questions,
      Sharon

  6. Gina says:

    Hi Joanne,

    Have you tried Vit E with your son? If you have, can you please recommend which are the good brands and which type? I’m getting confused

    Thanks

    Gina

  7. erin says:

    is there a difference between using the nordic naturals complete omega 3 liquid verse the complete omega 3-6-9 liquid? i only found the 3 in the health food store in liquid form, and bought that one, not realizing i might have gotten the wrong one? my son is nearly 2, and not talking, didnt babble, will occasionally say a word for a day or two then lose it, but is otherwise checked out totally normal and healthy physically, and in language comprehension. he’s started therapy 2 weeks ago with EI, and i’m hoping the fish oils may also help. thanks.

  8. Tiffani says:

    Hello, Thank you for sharing your story. I must say after having sleepless night today I will be able to sleep well. I have emailed you about some questions regarding ProEFA and NV. In addition I have one more question which is how long I can continue with fish oil ? is there any particular age where I need to stop the dosage ? please share.

    • svraciu says:

      Hi Tiffani!

      I am finally getting back to your email tonight, but wanted to answer this note for those that are following the blog and may be interested in the answer to your question.

      The fish oils can be continued indefinitely. I give them to all 3 of my kids (1, 3, & 5 yrs old), and my husband and I take them as well. The basically provide your body with ESSENTIAL (meaning your body MUST have them) fatty acids. Your body does not produce fatty acids so you have to consume them to get them into your system. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t eat nearly enough fish, nuts, etc to get the appropriate amounts of fatty acids in my diet. So, fish oils are like a supplement…a VERY IMPORTANT supplement that do so many great things for you body.

      As long as there are no allergy reasons why you can’t take certain fish oils, I personally say we should never be without them.

      Also, please please do a little more research on SPEAK before you decide to jump in. There have been numerous cases of severely adverse reactions because of high vitamin levels that can/may be toxic to certain people’s systems. I will try to find some links I’ve seen in the past that tell this story more clearly, but I’d be wary…

  9. Jenny says:

    Hi! My son was just diagnosed with Apraxia. He turns 2 next week and is 35 lbs. I was wondering if I could buy the capsules and squirt them in his juice to consume. Would this work? Just to clarify as well, I would need to buy the ProEFA and ProEPA (capsules) OR the Complete Omega 3,6,9? Is just buying the liquid more cost efficient?

    • svraciu says:

      Hey Jenny. I am not 100% sure on whether or not it affects the potency by mixing with Juice, however if this is the ONLY way I could get it in my child I’d do it. I know it is really oily so it might stick to the sides of a glass – not sure. you’ll have to test it out and, perhaps, use some major bribery like we did 🙂

      If you do the capsules, yes, Lisa Geng’s recommended dosage is 2 ProEFA capsules + 1 ProEPA capsule/day, however I think she suggest starting off with only the ProEFA and then adding in ProEPA once you’re needing another surge. If you can’t get the capsules in your child (by squirting them in the mouth or whatever other way you try), then the 2ndary option (which is what we did/do) is the liquid. I am not sure what the price breakout is between the two, but you can easily check prices online. I will say if you’re considering doing the liquid, I wouldn’t buy more than an 8oz bottle at a time. I think the more it’s exposed to air (when you open the lid) the more it can “age” if you will. It can go rancid. So, we just buy a lot of 8oz bottles instead of one big 16oz bottle. That way, we can work through it more quickly. The capsules last a lot longer b/c they’re not exposed to air until you puncture or digest each one. Also, the capsules are easier to travel with so I’d go that route if possible. If not, no big deal b/c we know from experience the liquid works too!

  10. Amy Ciavaglia says:

    Is it best to divide the dosage? My 3yr old has Apraxis and I have been giving her 2 NN 3-6-9 capsules together each morning. Should I divide the dose? I am about to add in the EPA as well. How should this all be given?

    Thanks!
    Amy

    • svraciu says:

      Hey Amy! I don’t there is a hard and fast rule on this. Some people do say they see better focus throughout the day if they split up the dosage, but others don’t notice a difference at all when they split it. We always give it to our kids right before bed or first thing in the morning. We’ve never split it. Try it both ways and see what you think? Either way it can’t be harmful so I’d say just go with what you feel works best for your daughter. 🙂

  11. Elle says:

    Hi , thank you for all the information but i don’t know why I’m having a hard time understanding this. I’m still confused about which fish oils should be taken. From what I understand it should be 2 pro efa and 1 pro epa but the nordic naturals 369 is basically the same as the pro efa so we can use that instead. But are we still supposed to be using the pro epa in addition to the nordic naturals 369?

    • svraciu says:

      Hi.

      It’s an either/or. The reco is 2 pro efa + 1 pro epa. However, I couldn’t get my little guy to take the liquid directly from the capsule. he wouldn’t let me squirt it into his mouth. So, the alternative option is 3-6-9 liquid. Their profile is very similar, which is why there is the option. The capsules are definitely easier to travel with and don’t expire as quickly, but if you just can’t get that to work then the 3-6-9 is a nice option. We saw many many gains with the 3-6-9 and still use it to this day. We still feel like we see a glitch in Ryan if he’s been off of it for more than a week or two. Hope this helps!

  12. ADrak says:

    Hello,

    do you know of any improvement for children with mixed expressive and receptive language delay? My daughter is 4 this June, seems to have more age-appropriate articulation delay, but the receptive language is significantly delayed (for example cannot initiate how her day went at school without repetition / coaching from me??

  13. Elizabeth says:

    No one might be able to answer this since the last response was 2013, but what about the DHA liquid? I just ordered the Nordic DHA liquid for my son. Has anyone had any success with it? Thanks!

    • svraciu says:

      I am not certain if DHA alone has made the same kind of difference as the EFA/EPA combination of the reco in this blog. From what I remember, there is something special about the EPA/EFA ratios that seemed to be the “magic” for many people. Best of luck!

  14. dbrown1180 says:

    I am so glad I stumbled upon this blog! We just recently began using fish oil with our son (2 1/2 years old, 35 lbs, Apraxia), and I am wondering if you have any advice on dosage for me. I purchased the Nordic Naturals ProEFA Jr. capsules. Originally, I thought the “Jr.” capsules were more geared towards children, but now I am worried that he isn’t getting enough of the product due to the smaller size/concentration. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!

    • svraciu says:

      Hi! So sorry I’m just now getting back to you. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind the last couple of months. I am not certain how the ratios in the Jr capsules compare to the adult. I do know that it is the differences between the EPA/EFA ratios in each concentration that matters. Meaning it wasn’t just that someone could take EPA capsules, but no EFA capsules and see the same results as if they took the combo of EFA/EPA outlined in my blog. I know that when I compared the adult Complete Omega 3,6,9 liquid with the Jr 3,6,9 liquid, there was literally NO difference in the EFA/EPA ratios of the products. The only difference is that the Jr was packaged in a cutesy bottle and the dosage was 1/2 tsp whereas the adult dosage was 1 tsp. They just changed the packaging and dosage amounts, but the ratios are almost exact. You’ll have to do the math with what you’re giving vs. the reco’d adult product and see if it matters either way. You might just need to give MORE of the Jr. to reach the same dosage as that of the Adult. This sounds so confusing – I hope it makes sense. If not, reach out and let me know and I’ll try to explain more clearly.

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