Venice, Florida-based Omega3 Innovations, the “fresh fish oil company,” is conducting a study with a local Venice charter middle school to track how omega-3 affects student focus and academic performance. Over the next eight weeks, students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades at SKY Academy will eat one fish oil-enriched cookie product daily. Students have the choice of either eating the chocolate-covered Omega Heaven cookie or cranberry Omega Cookie. For the purpose of the study, both cookies will contain 1000 mg of EPA/DHA omega-3 fatty acids, or the equivalent of one teaspoon of cod liver oil.
“Our students and I are excited to be part of this study,” said Steve Smith, principal of SKY Academy. “Our school is designed around healthy living, and to give our students the chance to see firsthand how science and health intersect in the classroom and personally is a unique experience.”
At the beginning and end of the study, student concentration will be measured with a computerized version of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), an internationally-used test that measures the ability to stay focused and pay attention to change. In addition, the researchers, led by Dr. Bo Martinsen, MD, co-founder of Omega3 Innovations, will compare student academic performance in mathematics against the gains made by peers who are not part of the study.
“Multiple studies from around the world have shown that the daily use of omega-3 fish oil may help children become more attentive and focused,” said Martinsen. “However, getting children to regularly take liquid fish oil or swallow a large number of capsules has always proven to be a major obstacle. With this study, it will be exciting to see how the students’ respond to getting their omega-3 in cookie form.”
Besides the omega-3 fatty acids from cod liver oil, the patented Omega Cookie and Omega Heaven are potent sources of gluten-free oat soluble fiber, vitamin D3, and calcium. In addition, the cookies do not contain any processed ingredients, such as trans fats or preservatives or high fructose corn syrup.
SKY Academy, which stands for “Strength & Knowledge at the YMCA,” is a tuition-free, Sarasota County public charter middle school. The school’s curriculum is based on research that proves exercise helps condition the mind for learning and emotional and social growth. More than 335 students are enrolled at the school.
Founded in 2006, Venice-based Omega3 Innovations is the world’s only manufacturer to have successfully created baked foods containing effective daily doses of omega-3 fish oil. A physician-directed company, Omega3 Innovations has developed a complete line of fresh omega-3-based foods, including Omega Cure® liquid fish oil, the gluten-free Omega Cookie®, chocolate-covered Omega Heaven™ cookies and Omega Passion® chocolate truffles. All Omega3 Innovations products are free of gluten, trans fats, added sugars and preservatives.