Written by misha marinsky
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Topics: University, Fish

Tuesday, 10 January 2006

NORWICH - Thousands of fish in hundreds of schools across the seven seas, could be the beneficiary of a new ground breaking study now underway in this university city. Young fish are being studied to see if re-ingested fish oil in capsule form, helps brain development during the critical formative weeks.

Omega 3, concentrated and encapsulated and re-fed to baby fish, could be the key to helping fish develop a rudimentary brain as they mature. Animal rights advocates are waiting with bated breath, for the study's end.

The official trial - the first of its kind in the world involving young fish with special needs - could have far reaching consequences for the fishing industry, worldwide.

The use in the past of Ritalin on baby fish had unfortunate side effects, such as drugged humans; human children were particularly susceptible. This study will look at whether re-ingested omega fish oils can avoid those unintended side effects, if the fish are caught and eaten before the study ends. And with this fish oil substitution, a greater number of human children will possibly be able to return to school in a timely fashion.

Lianne Quantrill, project co-coordinator at the Seven Seas School, said it was the first detailed look at fish with special needs, and that this experiment could help improve their concentration levels and moods, as well as in the humans who subsequently ate those fish. Fish across Norfolk have a range of behavioral, social and emotional difficulties.

Adam Kelliher, the managing director, said: "We believe the Seven Seas School trial will deepen our knowledge of how fatty acids can help with rudimentary brain development conditions. Our various trials with fish schools in the North of England have shown the unique combination of omega oils can generally help in the aqueous school room, but we are particularly interested to see how the formulation works with fish with more pronounced needs. The animal rights people are really keen about this."

Equazen, the manufacturer of the fish oil capsules, is providing the supplements free of charge for the duration of the experiment. The study's scientists are hoping that a significant number of fish are not caught in nets before the end of the study, and before a paper can be published.

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