To study how vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fats affect frequency and severity of respiratory tract and gastrointestinal infections, 598 school children aged between six to ten years were given foods fortified with a combination of daily nutrients. Each one included either 140mg or 1000mg of omega-3 essential fatty acids and either 15% or 100% of the RDA for a variety of other vitamins and minerals.
The researchers found that:
- Children receiving 1,000 mg of omega-3 fat per day had significantly fewer episodes of upper respiratory tract infections compared with the children receiving 140 mg of omega-3 fat daily.
- Children receiving 1,000 mg of omega-3 fat had significantly shorter durations of being sick when they had upper and lower respiratory tract and gastrointestinal infections compared with children receiving 140 mg of omega-3 fat.
- The children receiving food fortified with 100% of the RDA of iodine, iron, vitamins A, C, B2, B6, B12, folic acid, zinc, and calcium experienced shorter duration of general illness symptoms only compared with children receiving only 15% of the RDA for these nutrients.
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Ref: Food for the Brain www.foodforthebrain.org