London: A daily dose of fish oil could boost the brain power in children while improving their behaviour, a new study has claimed.

The study by Oxford University found that children with poor reading skills could have their performance boosted by taking daily supplements of fatty acids found in seafood and some algae, according to new research.

Scientists gave 600mg omega-3 fatty acid pills to 362 children aged seven to nine daily for 16 weeks.

Although there was no significant effect in the overall study sample, they found those whose reading skills were in the lowest fifth of the normal range improved their reading age by three weeks more that a group taking a placebo.

And in the group of children whose initial reading skills were in the lowest 10 per cent their reading age was improved by 1.9 months.

"Our results showed that taking daily supplements of omega-3 DHA improved reading performance for the poorest readers (those in the lowest fifth of the normal range) and helped these children to catch up with their peer group," said Dr Alex Richardson, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Evidence-Based Intervention at Oxford University.


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