¿Which is the optimal omega-3 intake in children and adolescents?


Omega-3 fatty acids play a particularly important role in early life health and development. Studies have shown that omega-3 intake in children aged 8-15 years is beneficial for cardiovascular health and may reduce depressive and manic symptoms in youth between age 6 and 17.

Recommendations for omega-3 fatty acids intake in childhood and adolescence are mainly based on age. However, the differences among recommended doses reflect, in fact, changes in omega-3 needing’s due to changes in body weight, and weight at a given age may vary considerably (from underweight to overweight/obese).

In children aged 7-14 years, supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids increases EPA and DHA levels in blood in relation to body weight (not in relation to age). Specifically, in children with higher weight, the increase is smaller (the same amount of omega-3 has less effect). Although the optimal omega-3 status in children and adolescents is not yet established, the effect of weight probably occurs at any dose.

In children and adolescents, the optimal amount of omega-3 intake should be determined in relation to weight rather than respect to age.


Christian LM, Young AS, Mitchell AM et al. Body weight affects ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) accumulation in youth following supplementation in post-hoc analyses of a randomized controlled trial. PLoS One. 2017 Apr 5;12(4):e0173087. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0173087