Q&A: SPEAK, Nordic Naturals & Eicosamax

This is a recent Q&A from a mum regarding essential fatty acids; please read.

Question:
Hi Marissa,

I must admire your excellent post! It’s so detailed, from A to Z. Thank you so very much.

We have heard of Nordic Natural, and keen to try it honestly. But one thing, we just didn’t know which one to choose from their wide range of products. Perhaps you can share your opinion with me?

My husband found this product that helps in speech delay, SPEAK http://www.speechnutrients.com/products/speak/ May I know if you have tried this before? I read through the info on their website about SPEAK. I have some concerns about this product as it clearly mentioned the side effects.

Btw, may I know where did you get your Eicosamax?

Many thanks,
B, mother of a child with developmental and speech delays, Kuala Lumpur

Reply:
Hi B,
Thank you for the compliment, it is very kind of you to say so. I am passionate about improving my children’s health, I am thrilled if it can help other children too.

Firstly, I strongly urge you to consult with a biomedical doctor to manage your son’s treatment. The doctor can prescribe the most suitable EFA for your son. Also, there are many excellent brands of fish oils in the market so don’t feel pressured to limit yourself to just one brand if you are not able to source it easily. Nontheless, I will try to give you my personal opinion of what would be a suitable choice for families new to EFA supplementation.

This is my own personal guidelines for choosing Essential Fatty Acids;

1. Start low and go slow. More is not necessarily better. There will be a period of adjustment.
2. I choose fish oils rather than other forms of EFAs eg. flaxseed oil because the body needs to convert it to Omega 3. However, feel free to try out other non-fish sources of EFA if it is more suitable for your son.
3. Determine if your son needs more support for emotional issues eg. mood swings. Or if he needs more support with cognition. Rule of thumb- more EPA for emotional/mood swings, more DHA for cognition, focus or attention. This is an oversimplification based on my understanding, so please do your own research ok? If both are in need of support, then choose a formulation with a good amount of both.
4. Choose the form you like best- liquid or gel caps? Since your son is very young (<3 years old) then I assume liquid is best.
5. I think Vitamin D3 is important for everyone with autism. So for added convenience, I would choose a formulation that contains Vit D3 if you don't already have it as a separate supplement.
6. Consider if you need added Vitamin A, especially if your son has issues with visual stimming. But do be careful with Vitamin A supplementation, monitor the intake as too much can lead to toxicity. Please read up on Vitamin A in autism.

Since you asked specifically about Nordic Naturals, these would be my 2 choices as a ‘starter’;

Arctic D Cod Liver Oil: Per serving provides EPA 410mg, DHA 625mg, Vitamin A, D3 & E. I would choose this if you need more support for cognition and/or visual issues.

Omega-3D: Per serving provides EPA 825mg, DHA 550mg, Vitamin D3 & E. I would choose this if you need more support for emotional issues.

Both of the above are also good choices for an ‘all rounder’ Omega 3 supplementation. Nonetheless, this is not to be construed as medical advise, it is merely my personal opinion.

Regarding SPEAK, we were prescribed this by one of my US doctors a couple of years ago. I have heard good things about it and I was eager to try it. But by the time I got my hands on it, my daughter didn’t really need it anymore. We were already using Omega 3 and Vitamin E, so the only added benefit in it was GLA (Evening Primrose Oil) which further lab tests showed that my girls didn’t really need and Vitamin K (I’m not too sure how important this is for my girls). So essentially SPEAK is Omega 3, GLA, Vit E & K in a convenient form i.e. 2 gel caps (though my girls would need 4 caps daily to get their optimum intake of EFAs) . The amount of EPA & DHA in their Omega 3 source especially the DHA is a bit low for my girls as they needed higher amounts. We already know high amounts of Omega 3 / Essential Fatty Acids is crucial for brain development, cognition, inflammation and mood disorders, all of which affects speech. Just the formulation and combination is different from other brands. If you can get it into Malaysia, cool. Let me know if you do ok? If not, don’t worry too much about it, you may still get the same benefits by supplementing each ingredient individually I think. I understand your concerns regarding side effects, but for what it’s worth, there are always side effects with any supplement. EFAs are generally positive for most children, a responsible manufacturer would list down any possible side effects etc in their product literature. For more thoughts on EFAs, please read my previous post EFAs and Sushi Burps

Eicosamax is from Prothera, the parent company of Klaire Labs. It is by doctor’s prescription only, I either purchase it from my doctor or online from Prothera directly. However, you can try to purchase it from Green & Healthy, though I’m not sure if they are an authorised reseller for Klaire Labs and Prothera products. Btw, Eicosamax doesn’t contain Vitamin A or D3, but I supplement Vit D3 individually anyway so it’s not a problem for me. And I use Micelized Vitamin A separately as and when needed.

Lastly, I wanted to mention that it is so encouraging that you identified your son’s developmental and speech delays so early on, not to mention providing him with early intervention, I truly believe in a mother’s instinct. Too many families are not able to obtain the appropriate support early on because of lack of a formal diagnosis, delays in getting them properly assessed and sometimes denial even. Your son is off to a good start with a supportive mum like you, I wish you all the best in the recovery journey.

I hope this helps,
Marissa

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6 thoughts on “Q&A: SPEAK, Nordic Naturals & Eicosamax

  1. Marissa,
    I sincerely thank you for your kindness and generosity! I believe no one else could have done so much, to me, to parents with special children and to Autism. I’m truly grateful for you and your valuable opinions!

  2. Hi Marissa….Great to know your kids are doing well…What I want to ask is about Nordic Naturals…Reasonly, I have ordered this supplements from USA…and best part our Malaysia Imigration hold for 2 months..enquiries us why do we need to purchase n our simple answer was not found in Malaysia n for our autistic little boy Ryan Elijah. We were told this will be release and no more entertainment again if we purchase. So, What I want to know…how do u purchase all this supplements if we can’t find in Malaysia. Thanks for all your wonderful information and all the great ways of telling all mums doing a wonderful work. Take care and God bless.

    Christina

  3. Hi Marissa, How r u and the girls doing…Recently, I have hear about this Rain International – Soul liquid form(www.wearerain.com). I was wondering if you heard about it and can advice me. Ryan now 5, autistic and hyper. We trying to find supplement to calm him since Ryan has now mood swings, sleep disorder, delay in speech. We use PECS for him. We bought Nordic Naturals – both Omega and Cod Liver Oil. I don’t know how much of EFA & DHA or doses that I should give him. Weather, I mix both Soul and Nordic Naturals will effect Ryan. Please advice. Thanks.

    Christina Louis

  4. Dwar Marissa,
    Im searching for Nordic’s oil as you prescribe above, but bebehaus in Bangsar does not keep it in stock. Please advice on where else can I purchase the oil. TIA

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