Durham Research
Using Fatty Acids for Learning Conditions


Fatty Acid Nutrition
Preschool School
Primary School
Secondary School

Fatty Acids

 Our Research Initiative

We chose a fatty acid supplement for the following reasons:

Former research has shown that long chain fatty acids could have real benefits for a range of learning and behavioural conditions

Approximately 20% of the dry weight of the brain and approximately 30% of the retina are made from these elements

The average Westerner's diet is usually deficient in them. We could see this for ourselves: children at our schools were ingesting processed foods high in carbohydrates and sugar in preference to oily fish and green leafy vegetables

Since overhauling the diets of all pupils was out of the question, we decided to use a natural supplement as a convenient and measurable dietary input.

Why Fatty Acids are Essential

With current trends for low fat diets many people do not realise that there are certain types of fat that are necessary for living healthily. These are the two 'families' of essential fatty acids ' omega-3 and omega-6. These compounds are long chain polyunsaturated fats, as against the short chain saturated fats, which should generally be avoided. Long chain fatty acids are important for most key processes in our life, and that is why they are regarded as 'essential.'

Our bodies cannot make them, and so we have to get them from a dietary source. Fish and seafood are the main sources of the omega-3s, particularly the key ones for the eye and brain, EPA and DHA. Green vegetables, certain nuts and oils are the dietary sources for omega-6 fatty acids. But even if you have a good dietary input of the parent fatty acids (LA and ALA), your body may not be efficient at metabolising them into the ones needed for optimal brain function. And this is why a direct input of a supplement seemed prudent.