Health & Spirit

Kids who eat fish sleep better and are smarter

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In the final episode of season two of "The Sopranos," Tony finds a "wire" at Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero's house (which means that Big Pussy has been talking to the Feds). Tony, Paulie and Silvio take him for a ride in Tony's new boat, and Big Pussy ends up, you guessed it, sleepin' with the fishes.

Sleepin' because of the fishes is what's behind a much more positive new study from the University of Pennsylvania. The researchers report that 9- to 11-year-old Chinese children who eat fish at least once a week sleep better and have IQ scores 4 points higher than kids who eat little or no fish. That's great, but how do you get American kids to eat fish?

Last week we reported that moms-to-be who ate vegetables while pregnant, passed along a propensity for their kids to enjoy vegetables. The same goes for fish. But let's get realistic here. To get American kids to eat fish -- researchers say it's the omega-3s in the fish that's the real brain starter -- a nice tuna salad or an oven-fried salmon filet sandwich could do the trick. However, if that doesn't work, an added supplement of DHA omega-3 algal oil might have the same effect, even though no supplements were cited in the Penn study. Those supplements are known to help improve eyesight too.

So whichever you choose, it's important to try, so your child will sleep better and be more attentive in school (always the case following a good night's sleep).


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Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2018 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2018 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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