Body size and weight plays an important role in the benefits that can be gained from omega-3 supplements, according to a new RCT that suggests age-related guidelines for children may cause issues due to big differences in body shape. Guidelines for suggested intake of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are limited in youth and rely primarily on age. However, body weight varies considerably within age classifications. The current analyses examined effects of body weight and BMI on fatty acid accumulation in 64 youth (7–14 years) with a diagnosed mood disorder in a double-blind randomized-controlled trial (2000mg ω-3 supplements or a control capsule) across 12 weeks.
A dose-response effect was observed across the BMI spectrum. Given increasing variability in weight within BMI percentile ranges as youth age, dosing based on absolute weight should be considered. Moreover, effects of weight should be incorporated into statistical models in studies examining clinical effects of ω-3 PUFAs in youth as well as adults, as weight-related differences in effects may contribute meaningfully to inconsistencies in the current literature.