Can I Give Fish Oil to My Baby?

From:  “Robert Katz, Ph.D.”
Date:  Thu Nov 22, 2001  11:24 am
Subject:  Re: nervous about 2nd child

Dear Kathie and Eileen,

The question is can EFAs be supplemented to younger children so that verbal apraxia/dyspraxia can be prevented?

The simple theoretical answer to this is a yes. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the addition of 100 mg/day of DHA (Docosahexaenoic, an omega-3 EFA) and 100 mg/day of ARA (arachidonic acid, an omega-6 EFA) that is produced from GLA to
infant formula. The purpose is to make infant formulas more like breast milk. So, giving the content of one ProEFA to an eight months old would provide about the same amount of DHA and half the ARA. Since some of the linoleic acid from the borage oil will be transformed by body into ARA, the total ARA will be close to the 100 mg/day dose. The 140 mg of EPA will be welcomed by the body.

Recommendation: Since these are over the counter nutritional supplements the decision as to undertake this preventive pathway or not is ultimately yours. Nevertheless, please contact your pediatrician and share this information with him/her. I shall be
happy to answer your pediatrician’s questions on the above. I would like to hear from all those who want to try supplementing siblings with EFA for preventive purposes BEFORE STARTING THE SUPPLEMENTATION. It would be great if we could follow the changes in the supplemented sibling as they happen.

Best wishes and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Robert Katz, Ph. D.
CHERAB Foundation

2 Comments on “Can I Give Fish Oil to My Baby?”

  1. Are there any concerns of vitamin A or D toxicity (overdose) if I give proEFA to my 18 month old boy who is speech delayed and is undergoing evaluations to qualify for Early Intervention? Thank you.

    • Hi Monika! Only fish oils made from the liver of the fish (like cod liver oil) contain the vitamin A naturally. Fish oils not made from the liver do not contain vitamin A. CLO also contains the vitamin D which is not the type of oil we found success with in our group.

      While pregnant and during breast feeding you provide your baby with “essential fatty acids” which are essential to our bodies, but we can’t produce them so we need to consume them and yet they are virtually lacking in our diets today. The fish oils formula most of us found success with, one capsule is about equivalent to the dosage the FDA approved for infant formula. It’s understandable but puts it into perspective that as a society we are more concerned over something that is essential and needed by the body then something that comes in a fast food wrapper. You can find more about fish oils in The Late Talker book, on this website and here’s a “Fish Oil 101” page  If after reading a bit you have any questions ask away -and don’t be overwhelmed. You can also join our facebook page   Fish oils seem easy enough to understand but the more you learn about them the more you’ll be aware you don’t know! But bottom line in my opinion just about everyone should be on them for health reasons alone -and that includes 18 month old late talkers for sure!  For most of the children in the group we found success with the oils not made from the liver where the EPA is slightly higher than the DHA with a bit of GLA like ProEFA but for infants a formula higher in DHA may be better.Why not check with your child’s pediatrician -I have found the better doctors are aware of the research linking good nutrition to improved neuro function.

      Lisa Geng
      President CHERAB Foundation
      Communication Help, Education, Research, Apraxia Base
      “Help give our cherubs a smile and a voice”