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How Much Do You Know About Omega 3 & Omega 6?

Let’s start with basics. Fats are an essential component to a healthy diet. There are many types of fatty acids and the potentially helpful types of dietary fat are primarily unsaturated fatty acids.

Unsaturated fatty acids all have at least one double bond linkage between carbon atoms. Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) are the fatty acid that has one double bond meanwhile polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has more than one double bond.

Omega 3 & Omega 6 are the essential PUFAs that must be obtained from our diet because our body are unable to produce it. Most importantly, Omega 3s & 6s are necessary to promote healthy growth in children.

The 3 important functions of Omega 3 are:

Precursor of EPA, DHA & ALA

Eiscosapentaenoic acid (EPA)

Functioned to produce chemicals called eicosanoids, which help to reduce inflammation.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

DHA makes up about 8% of brain weight and is extremely important for normal brain development and function.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

Mainly used by the body for energy or convert into EPA & DHA.

Build immune system and visual development

Omega 3 & 6 makes up more than 30% of the lipid in the brain, cones and rods of retina.

Promotes brain development

The cell membranes in the brain are largely made up of polyunsaturated fats. According to study, Omega 3 and 6 improve children’s reading skills.

Thus, it is vitally crucial to obtain adequate omega 3 & 6 in your kid’s diet.

The current recommended adequate intakes of Omega 3 are as below:

  • 0 to 12 months: 0.5 grams/day
  • 1 to 3 years: 0.7 grams/day
  • 4 to 8 years: 0.9 grams/day
  • 9 to 13 years (boys): 1.2 grams/day
  • 9 to 13 years (girls): 1.0 grams/day
  • 14 to 18 years (boys): 1.6 grams/day
  • 14 to 18 years (girls): 1.1 grams/day
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Omega-3, omega-6 supplement improves reading for children. (2016, September 14).
Cording, J. (n.d.). Do Kids Need Omega-3 Fats?
Healthline. 2020. Omega-3-6-9 Fatty Acids: A Complete Overview.