What are omega fatty acids?

Omega fatty acids are known as ‘essential fatty acids’ because they cannot be produced by the body so have to be obtained from our diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are made up of two key acids -eicosapentanoic acid, known as EPA and docosahexanoic acid, known as DHA.

The history of Omega-3 fatty acids use

The role of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) such as Omega 3 for learning and behaviour in children has always been a growing area of research.1

The rationale for the use of Omega-3 PUFAs in neurodevelopmental disorders stems from their primary action in producing modification of the synaptic membrane.

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential components in the brain and have to be provided in the diet since they cannot be produced  in the body. Concerns have been raised that insufficiency of Omega 3 in the modern diet may negatively affect children’s learning, reading, and attention. The brain cell membranes are rich in phospholipids composed of these fatty acids, and studies suggest that they may facilitate transport across the membranes and modulation of neurotransmitter systems.1

The specific ingredients used by Flordis

Equazen® contains only high-quality ingredients. Our oil comes from sustainable fish sources such as sardines, known to have a naturally high level of EPA. After a special purification process, independent testing guarantees that our oils comply with strict European Community purity standards.  The formulation is free from Gluten.

 Equazen, with its special formula - (EPA:DHA:GLA =9:3:1) and excellent quality, has been researched and shown to improve attention, hyperactivity and learning in children as well improve reading, spelling and writing in children with learning difficulties through a number of clinical trials.

How it works

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) Omega-3 are important components of phospholipids of the neuronal cell membrane. The structure and composition of the cell membrane and its physical properties and function depend on the correct dietary fat intake. PUFAs are essential nutrients for growth and normal cell function. In particular, DHA is necessary for the development and maintenance of normal Central Nervous System (CNS) structure and function.2

EPA which is the metabolic precursor of DHA stands out for its anti-inflammatory properties, which may have neuroprotective effects on the brain.3 An adequate amount of GLA is needed as well to maintain a healthy balance of anti-inflammatory molecules within the body.4

Deficiency of omega-3 PUFAs results in several neuronal-specific defects that include reduced learning, abnormal electroretinogram, impaired vision, numbness and leg pain.2

Key studies

In several studies, it has been indicated that a supplementation of Omega-3 has a beneficial effect on neurodevelopment and improvement in reading, spelling and writing in children.

  • In a placebo-controlled double blind randomised clinical trial on 117 school children with untreated developmental coordination disorder (DCD), Equazen was found to produce significant improvements in reading, spelling and ADHD-like symptoms with a significant improvement compared to controls in reading age, gains in spelling age and improved behaviour1

  • In other clinical trials, Equazen has reported improvement on learning and behavioural  difficulties associated with child ADHD2,3

  • When compared to Methylphenidate (MPH), Equazen, although slightly less effective than MPH, was found to be an effective and well tolerated treatment for children suffering from ADHD. Equazen in combination with MPH appeared to have some benefits over MPH monotherapy in terms of MPH dosage and tolerability, suggesting an improved treatment adherence4

  • In a placebo controlled study in 409 children (81.7% indigenous Australian children), Equazen supplementation improved significantly the cognitive development (non-verbal and culture free assessment) of children compared to placebo5

  • In a randomised, placebo-controlled trial in Sweden, Equazen was shown to be significantly superior for phonologic decoding time and consequently reading performance in mainstream schoolchildren6

  • In a recent meta-analysis, including 25 clinical studies with different types of essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6 preparations) , results showed that even if inconsistencies have been found among the different treatments, the most promising results are found in the trial where a specific Omega-3/Omega-6 combination (Equazen) was given to the subjects7

Key studies

In several studies, it has been indicated that a supplementation of Omega-3 has a beneficial effect on neurodevelopment and improvement in reading, spelling and writing in children.

  • In a placebo-controlled double blind randomised clinical trial on 117 school children with untreated developmental coordination disorder (DCD), Equazen was found to produce significant improvements in reading, spelling and ADHD-like symptoms with a significant improvement compared to controls in reading age, gains in spelling age and improved behaviour1

  • In other clinical trials, Equazen has reported improvement on learning and behavioural  difficulties associated with child ADHD2,3

  • When compared to Methylphenidate (MPH), Equazen, although slightly less effective than MPH, was found to be an effective and well tolerated treatment for children suffering from ADHD. Equazen in combination with MPH appeared to have some benefits over MPH monotherapy in terms of MPH dosage and tolerability, suggesting an improved treatment adherence4

  • In a placebo controlled study in 409 children (81.7% indigenous Australian children), Equazen supplementation improved significantly the cognitive development (non-verbal and culture free assessment) of children compared to placebo5

  • In a randomised, placebo-controlled trial in Sweden, Equazen was shown to be significantly superior for phonologic decoding time and consequently reading performance in mainstream schoolchildren6

  • In a recent meta-analysis, including 25 clinical studies with different types of essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6 preparations) , results showed that even if inconsistencies have been found among the different treatments, the most promising results are found in the trial where a specific Omega-3/Omega-6 combination (Equazen) was given to the subjects7

References

1. Richardson, A.J. and Montgomery, P. Pediatrics, 115(5): 1360-1366, 2005. 2.  Johnson, M., et al.Journal of Attention Disorders, 12(5): 394-401, 2009.   3.  Sinn, N. and Bryan, J. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 28(2): 82-91. 2007 4. Barragán-Pérez, E.J., Breuer D., Döpfner M. Journal of attention disorders, Jan 24, 2014. 5. Parletta, N., et al.  Prostaglandins Leukotrienes Essential Fatty Acids, 89(2-3): 71-79, 2013. 6.  Johnson M., et al. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2016. 7.  Königs Anja and Kiliaan Amanda, Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 2016:12 1869–1882.