National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
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Most Used Natural Products

1.1% of U.S. children (664,000) used
fish oil/omega-3/DHA, EPA fatty acids

Fish oil was the most popular natural product used by children in the United States in 2012. Nearly 270,000 more children used fish oil in 2012 than in 2007.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods, such as seafood and oils, plants, and in the human body. Eating seafood may be a healthier practice than taking fish oil dietary supplements, even though the supplements may contain larger amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Research findings are unclear about the effectiveness of omega-3 fatty acids on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Parents should be aware that many complementary health approaches have not been tested for safety or effectiveness in children.

Read more about omega-3 fatty acids.


5 Citation: Black LI, Clarke TC, Barnes PM, Stussman BJ, Nahin RL. Use of complementary health approaches among children aged 4-17 years in the United States: National Health Interview Survey, 2007-2012. National health statistics reports; no 78. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2015. (229KB PDF)

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This page last modified September 24, 2017