Drs. Oz & Roizen's Tip of the Day: Omega-3 needed by teenagers, too

King Features SyndicateOctober 3, 2013 

On "The Patty Duke Show" (1963-1966), Patty's adolescent brother Ross (Paul O'Keefe) was sharp as a tack and pretty resilient, considering how his sister Patty treated him.

So, with a bit of retrospective forensic guessing, we'd say he definitely was not deficient in omega-3 fatty acids. Turns out this powerful, healthy oil (found in salmon and ocean trout) not only helps protect your heart, brain and immune system, but for teens, it also affects dopamine levels and mood. A deficiency creates anxiety and depression.

If you think your adolescent seems extra moody - a good dose naturally comes with the territory, since all those hormones are flying around - consider this. A new study points out that a diet deficient in omega-3s can contribute to teenage angst.

And for you not-yet-parents of teens, listen up. Parents' omega-3 deficiency can trigger emotional and health problems in future children. You need to make sure you're getting a good supply, not just for your own health, but for the next generation's as well!

• Serve fish (salmon and ocean trout, plus tuna and mackerel) two to three times weekly. And encourage teens to snack on six to 12 walnut halves.

• For extra protection, adults should take 900 mg a day of DHA omega-3 (we like algal oil). Teens should be encouraged to get as much from food as possible, and then add a lower-dose supplement (about 400 mg of DHA daily).

• And pick up a copy of "YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens"; it has tips on how to make everyone more understanding and less grumpy!

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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