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Fish oil and behaviour
A trial on my 3 year old


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Just Another Cat

Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:52 AM

Hi everyone,    

I've read a lot about fish oil improving behaviour on EB of late so thought I would give it a try.

Just to note, yesterday was a typical day for DD and involved
• Jumping on the bed while giggling uncontrollably
• Hanging upside down and spinning around on the couch while watching a tv show (could not sit still for the 10 minutes the show was on)
• Threw toys all over the floor, ran off in a fit of giggling when DP asked her to pick them up.
• Became very angry, shouting and carrying on, when put in timeout for hitting DS
• Running around the house for no particular reason

She seems to have a very short attention span and difficulty concentrating. She's quite emotional, going from fits of giggles to crying within seconds. She talks back and yells when I try to discipline her (timeout). She doesn't usually stop a behaviour if I ask her to. In fact, she usually just escalates it. She loves playing with DS. But gets over excited and ends up hurting him. When he cries she actually laughs.  

I understand that some of his is probably general 3 year old behaviour but hoping the fish oil will calm her down a bit.

So today is day 1 of my fish oil trial. I'm using the pentavite fish oil capsules. Anyone else want to join in?

Edited by BlackKitteh, 12 February 2013 - 07:53 AM.


#2 Just Another Cat

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:09 AM

QUOTE (Sassy Girl @ 12/02/2013, 09:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would try discipline before Fish oil. Fish oil is a placebo nothing more.


laughing2.gif I do discipline her. Every time. Sometimes I think she just can't help herself, like the giggling uncontrollably and getting over excited.

Placebo or not it's worth a try. We don't eat fish anyway due to DP having an allergy, so no harm really.

#3 Jupiter123

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:15 AM

Aside from what has been said on EB, have you actually researched the benefits and disadvantages of Fish Oil use on children?

Have you spoken with a medical professional about starting your LO on fish oil?

Have you checked to see if there will be any adverse interactions with fish oil and anything that your LO might be consuming?

Have you looked at some of the possible side effects of using Fish Oil?

Are you sure its wise to have Fish Oil in the house if your DH has an allergy?

Just a few questions to throw out there for you.

Disclaimer: I am not for or against the use of Fish Oil, however I do think that one should weigh the pro's and con's of using it.



#4 samoocha1991

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:19 AM

I have just went through the most trying time with my 3 year old DD.  EXACTLY what you said I was pulling my hair out as a loss with what to do with her.  I found all she wanted was time with mum and to be VERY VERY strict if you give a warning follow through it is hard as you are at a constant battle and it is SO tiring.

Id ask my GP before putting my DD on anything even if it is a simple as fish oil, but thats just my opinion.

I can safely say that after 3 months of constant arguing and going into a crazy mum that yes they do calm I think it is only 3 year old behaviour and girls can throw tantrums like i have never seen.  I thought the devil was coming for her original.gif .

Good luck and hope that whichever way you go that things get easier and she gets a bit calmer for your sanity.

#5 JustBeige

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:25 AM

I use them.  They are not a placebo for my child.  We also use them in conjunction with a lot of other things - food; discipline; other supplements.

You do need to look at the ones you are using, because different brands have different results depending on whether you are treating ADHD or ASD

Pop over to the SN section and have a look/ chat over there. there are a couple of threads over there that talk about it.  Otherwise contact BMJ and MadMother are both experts (imho) about everything FishOil and behaviours.

At that age, with DS, we looked at getting him to a Chiro + looking at different foods that set him off + trying some different, to our norm, techniques for discipline.

Food reactions were and still are sometimes, the big one for him. So check out the failsafe diet website too.

GL. 3-5 is truly an exasperating age.

#6 whale-woman

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:26 AM

Sounds a bit likje my 3 yo on a bad day. Oily fish in you diet is important but rather than putting her on expensive tablets why don't  you just add some fish to her diet (even if DP has to eat something else). My DD likes sardines on toast, grilled salmon and loves calamari.

#7 vitaechel

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:29 AM

OP - I am going assume you are already using positive reinforcement and discipline  wink.gif . I had fish oil recommended to help DS with concentration and focus, but that is a symptom of other issues. He had speech delay and real issue with sitting still (also sleep problems and other issues). I had lots of people giving advice like "no red cordial/no sugar etc etc" - problem was - he never had red cordial or soda, he also does not get loads of candy or sugar. Instead I grew vegies and would make his meals from scratch - I even made his bread. I went to parenting classes, speech therapists, maternal health nurses and doctors and while they could see the issues they had no answers. Discipline was an exercise in frustration. My DS wants to be good he just finds it really hard to control himself.
After seeing a Pediatrician who said "he is probably ADHD, but we can't be sure til he is 5 at least" , I was at my wits end. I needed help NOW - I was pregnant with DD and moving countries and DS would scream for hours at night trying to go to bed. He would have massive tantrums and bounced from wall to wall. We saw a natropath who suggested he had intolerance's. He was found to be gluten intolerant and removing gluten went a long way to helping those problems. This is not to say that is your DD's problem. My point is that I searched until I finally got help and advice that worked.
My 3.5yo DS can now sit still while doing lessons with me for a good hour (Even typing that I am amazed).  He goes to sleep most nights within 30mins and can go into a store with a tantrum most of the time. He has bad days and still has to use up a lot of energy, but he is much closer to a normal 3 year old now. I can't say whether the Fish oil definitively helps, but I THINK it has an impact. There is research that has suggested that Omega 3 fatty acids have a "medium to strong treatment effect" ( in blind studies) on symptoms of ADHD and other developmental disorders. Our Pediatrician actually suggested the fish oil as well.
Also to add - the Ped referred us to Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA's) and while we didn't get much chance for help from them they did prepare DS for our international move and helped me cope.

ETA - DS also eats lots of fish - he loves tuna (fresh and can) and sushi.

Edited by vitaechel, 12 February 2013 - 08:32 AM.


#8 Jess1308

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:34 AM

It does sound like pretty normal three year old behaviour to me. The fish oil trial that I am aware of is at the extreme end. It was for serious criminal offenders with psychiatric issues in a forensic psych hospital. There were some changes to behaviour but it wasn't remarkable. I haven't heard of any evidence base in regards to children.I would also check first with your GP.

#9 ZombieMum

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:46 AM

Firstly I would look into the FAILSAFE diet, which is a diet that eliminates certain chemicals (natural ones as well!) that can affect children's behaviour.
You go through a few weeks on a strict diet and then you introduce things one at a time to see what they react to.

It's not recommended to take fish oil whilst in the early stages of FAILSAFE because there are things in it that can affect behaviour.

Fish oil is certainly not a placebo as a PP has pointed out. Some that are aimed at kids have flavours added to them and the kids can react badly to that. It's certainly worth trying when your child is some what 'spirited'. My DS has been taking some for a few months (he takes capsules and thinks they are like lollies! He chews the capsule too.  sick.gif ) and he has calmed down a little bit. I certainly notice it after school as this is when he was quite hyped up.

I don't think your GP would be of any help, unless they have some knowledge and experience in this area. You could ask them for a referral to a dietician - there are some fantastic ones out there that work with you on the FAILSAFE diet.


Good luck.

#10 vitaechel

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:51 AM

There are studies in relation to Fish Oil and treatment of ADHD and Autism Spectrum disorders. A quick google search will give you a few. I am not a Dr, so the validity of the research is not known to me other than what I read. But my Pediatrician is a Dr...
That is not to say that the Op's DD will be helped by Fish oil, just that there is evidence to suggest it may help children with certain behavioural/developmental disorders.

Also - Zombiemum has great advice biggrin.gif

Edited by vitaechel, 12 February 2013 - 08:53 AM.


#11 Mummytoyou

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:06 AM

QUOTE (whale-woman @ 12/02/2013, 08:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sounds a bit likje my 3 yo on a bad day. Oily fish in you diet is important but rather than putting her on expensive tablets why don't  you just add some fish to her diet (even if DP has to eat something else). My DD likes sardines on toast, grilled salmon and loves calamari.



This is what we do.  I am a bit paranoid about fish oil (or lack of it) since being diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis.  I am participating in a study where I take 15mls a day of fish oil (rheumatoid dose) and I worry the kids wont get enough and end up with RA but I don't want to do capsules so I work on getting oily fish into their diets. Fish oil is great for hearts, joints, skin, brain etc. I do it for those reasons not behaviour so much.

#12 EBeditor

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:10 AM

That sounds like typical 3 year old behavior to me too! I do have my DS on fish oil though (and yes our GP is fine with it), I find it improves his mood.

#13 GenWhy

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:52 AM

Thanks to the help of many mums in the SN area on EB we got a diagnosis of high functioning autism in our DD2 last year. Fish oil was one of the recommendations the developmental paed gave us. The days we forget to give DD her "lollies" she is truly hard to manage with tantrums, aggression and lack of focus. It does work for us.

#14 Kay1

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:07 AM

Just to throw in my 2 cents worth.

DS2 had a neurological injury as a baby (caused by a virus) so during his recovery I started fish oil supplements (amongst other things) to help with his nerve and myelin regeneration. I don't know if it really helped but I felt better doing whatever I could to support his recovery.

I continued the fish oil after that. DS1 is 7.5 now. He has some quirks but is not on the spectrum. He has some sensory issues though and does some flapping when he's excited which is not a problem in itself but is a bit of a flag to me that he is going a bit 'scatty' as I think of it.

He has been assessed and had some flags for inattentive ADHD. This was at the start of Year 1. Since this wasn't causing any major problems at school I didn't pursue an official diagnosis and didn't share this info with the school but I did liaise with his teacher often. At the beginning of Year 1 his teacher noticed that he was having a lot of trouble sitting still and attending to tasks. During this time I realised I'd stopped the fish oil (Eye Q brand) and was just giving them those fish oil lollies which are not as high in the good stuff. So I switched back to his Eye Q. I didn't mention this to the teacher (she'd probably think I was a nutter) but about two weeks later she sought me out in the playground to tell me how much DS1 had settled down in class and how well he was doing at concentrating etc. She found the change quite remarkable and told me to keep doing whatever I was doing.

I feel certain it was the fishoil.

Over the holidays we ran out and I didn't get around to getting any more. Over the last week or so I and other family members have noticed his behaviour is much more 'scatty' again and the flapping has increased a lot. So he's back on it now and I'll see if it calms him down again. He is not a badly behaved child not destructive or disruptive so the changes are more subtle but still pretty clear to me. He seems calm and 'centred' when he's on it and able to concentrate and less so when not. My 4 year old is on it too but I don't notice any change in him. He doesn't have the same quirks as his brother.

#15 Loulla

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:14 AM

QUOTE (jupiter123 @ 12/02/2013, 09:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Aside from what has been said on EB, have you actually researched the benefits and disadvantages of Fish Oil use on children?

Have you spoken with a medical professional about starting your LO on fish oil?

Have you checked to see if there will be any adverse interactions with fish oil and anything that your LO might be consuming?

Have you looked at some of the possible side effects of using Fish Oil?

Are you sure its wise to have Fish Oil in the house if your DH has an allergy?

Just a few questions to throw out there for you.

Disclaimer: I am not for or against the use of Fish Oil, however I do think that one should weigh the pro's and con's of using it.


laughing2.gif  SUCH an EB answer!

OP there is a lot of data out there proving that fish oil has a huge range of benefits, it's amazing stuff.

ETA typo

Edited by Loulla, 13 February 2013 - 09:15 AM.





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