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EFAs & Back to School Brain Power

EFAs (essential fatty acids) are crucial for healthy growing brains and mental function. Here is straight and simple info to help you understand EFAs and how to find the ones that support children’s focus and brain function. Douglas MacKay is a licensed naturopathic doctor who serves as Nordic Naturals Research Advisor. He is Founder of Makai Naturopathic Center in Dover, NH.

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62 comments

Comments

Marcy D says …

Great podcast. We give our kids this supplement, and I guess we'll see in time if they end up smarter then us :) There is some mention of this I noticed on your other podcast comments!

Sara B. says …

This was a great podcast, a little more relevent to my life than some of the past ones. Keep it up though, I'm enjoying the podcasts!

chris reid says …

good info.! enjoying the pods.

Leann Stanford says …

Great cast. We are big fans of Nordic Natural's!

Stacy M. says …

Good info, glad you pointed out the importance of EFA for kids!

Olive says …

Glad to hear this coverage as school is starting up. Kids get so much info at school these days, it amazes me how advanced their math and english studies are. I hope the EFA can help support their little minds.

Go Amie says …

Thank you for this podcast; it is good to get a succinct explanation of options for fatty acid supplements.

Karen says …

Great comments Cori. I agree full heartedly. We do both in our home.

lori says …

My daughter is on a multi-vitamin, and I thought she was getting her fatty acids through flax, but it's good to know that DHA is mainly from animal products. Thanks!

Lori says …

Good to hear about options for fatty acids for kids.

Vicki Wurgler says …

this is a very interesting podcast-I take EFA's but I was unsure on children

Vickie Couturier says …

Thanks for the information,with a toddler in the house this helps with giving them the proper meals an vitamins they need,thanks

judy brittle says …

That was very interesting. I never knew that omega-3 fatty acids were so important for our children. thank you.

Katie says …

Rebekah- I like your style. WE try to keep the kids up to date with good foods, but with school back in seesion and what seem to be constant morning battles, I feel good that they are taking supplements.

Cori Westphal says …

I believe it is so important that kids gets the vitamins and minerals that they need. Americans are seriously lacking in this aspect. If we want our kids to succeed in life, we better start working on the little things, like EFA's.

Rebekah says …

This was very informative, thank you Mara and Dr. MacKay. I have a 5 yr. old daughter who eats a pretty well balanced and healthy diet. But getting her to eat any kind of seafood is a joke. She eats plenty of nuts and I've even tried the obvious fish sticks.. no go. I was not aware that it was ok in fact recommended to give your child a supplement other than their daily multi-vitamin. I pride myself in trying to make sure my child eats as healthy as possible without being too much of a nag/ downer so this added information is much appreciated. Keep up the good work!

Betty N says …

Keep providing such informative podcasts for us!

Pam says …

I am glad to see this conversation taking place on the WF website

Rebecca C says …

My daughter doesn't tend to like vitamins but I will definately try the strawberry flavored! Great podcast definitely informative!

Emily says …

Nordic Naturals are fantastic. Our kids love these, they actually call the cookies.

WM says …

I've tried the strawberry flavored chewables on my daughter, but she didn't like them. She's older now, so I'll try them again.

sue w says …

Glad to hear this podcast! We have been discussing the best way to support our daughter's development. We'll certainly try some EFA supplements.

Nan says …

There is a great DHA product line at whole foods. I haven't had to buy this for awhile, so I don't recall the brand name, but my kids loved the flavor.

Dana M. says …

We were just talking about brain development and children's weight and need for EFA's last night at a friends dinner. Glad to see the synergy here as well.

carrie says …

EFA's are not thought of often enough by parents or doctors. They are a fantastic supplement for a child as well as for adults.

Josh says …

EFA's are a vital supplement for kids. We use Nordic Naturals and they actually really enjoy taking them.

Heather says …

Thanks for highlighting the importance of fatty acids for kids.

Zena says …

Great info, thanks Whole Foods!

Polly says …

School days are long and tough for our 6 year old. I am hoping that the addition of EFAs gives some support.

Wendy says …

I give the Nordic Natural's to my boys and feel very good about the quality of their products.

Nancy Hess says …

The Nordic Naturals Children's DHA is a great product. We have been buying these for years.

Jill says …

Good job Whole Foods. Nice to see a store speaking to health ideas for kids.

mona says …

Wow! this was informative! I can't wait till my next trip to whole foods to check out these products!!

Bennie says …

Thanks for pointing out the importance of EFA for kids.

Sam says …

There as some new studies which point out the benefits of EFA's with children who have Autism. Language skills were shown to increase dramatically with the introduction of EFA's!

Dee Dee says …

Looking forward to trying out some of these products. Great series!

Jo says …

Wow! I'm amazed at how easily impressed all the other listeners were. Doesn't it raise any red flags when the podcast starts out with a statement like "They are called Essential because the body doesn't make them..."? Folks, that is not what "essential" means. Essential means something that is extremely important. I think he just wants to sell more of his supplements to stressed out, confused parents. Shame.

Shelly says …

Just picked up some of the Nordic Naturals DHAs for my kids. Excited to check out their reaction tonight!

Cory says …

Great conversation here! I enjoy seeing all of the input and the podcast is very beneficial for a new parent like myself.

says …

@Jo Yes, the word essential means that the topic at hand is extremely important – in this case, important for survival and health. However, when we talk about fatty acids needed by the body, the word “essential” is used to distinguish fats that need to come from outside sources verses fats that the body can synthesize. When we talk about fatty acids that are needed in the body, we call those that the body cannot produce (and therefore must come from diet or outside sources) “essential.” This distinguishes them from fatty acids that the body can synthesize on its own. For example, omega 3 essential fatty acids (called “EFAs”) must be obtained from foods such as fish, flaxseed or walnuts, and can be obtained from supplements as well. On the other hand, omega 9 fatty acids, such as those fatty acids that are prominent in olive oil, can be synthesized by the body from unsaturated fats, so omega 9 fatty acids are not called “essential.” Still, omega 9 fats and other non-essential fatty acids, although not “essential,” are very important in the body.

Erin says …

Just found out about your back to school series from a fellow blogger. Great to see you entering the social media world! The site has much more depth now, keep it up!

dani says …

great information. I am so glad that ModMom.com blogged about this,

Kathy H. says …

Thanks for the great information. I've been giving my daughter Nordic Naturals and this was a good reminder of why it's so important.

terri says …

I loved the article. Anything that can help families is interesting.

terri says …

Great article. health can be easily overlooked with our busy lives.

Tia says …

Great podcast!

Samantha Pruitt says …

this is such a great show, very interesting and entertaining!

says …

Heather C, Thank you for your question regarding Omega 3s and children. Essential fatty acids are especially vital for youngsters and young adults, since their bodies and brains are in crucial stages of development. As we heard, omega 3 is a kind of EFA that’s needed for the brain, heart, nervous system, tissues, skin, joints, and immune health. The brain needs a specific kind of omega 3 called DHA, potentially helpful for children with concentration and attention challenges. Studies show that these children may be deficient in omega 3s and 6s, and supplementation may be helpful. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1995, vol. 62, no. 4 Suppl). There are specific natural supplements available that are targeted for improved learning, and omega 3s are usually the primary ingredient.

says …

@Kim You're right, the spelling of the clinic is Makai and not MacKay - we've fixed this in the blog entry and included a link to the center. However, Dr. Douglas MacKay's name is spelled correctly. :) Thanks!

Nora O. says …

Thanks for the feedback Malia- dare I say, "essential" knowledge :)

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