Friday, June 22, 2007

Prenatal omega-3 boosts baby's brainpower

Prenatal omega-3 may boost baby's brainpower Reuters/Yahoo!News 6/22/07 "Children whose mothers get enough omega-3 fatty acid during pregnancy may have sharper problem-solving skills in infancy...Researchers found that 9-month-olds whose mothers had eaten DHA-fortified bars during pregnancy performed better on a test of problem-solving abilities than infants whose mothers had not added DHA to their diets...experts recommend that pregnant women get 300 milligrams (mg) of DHA each day...U.S. women meet this goal...It's not entirely clear what the better problem-solving performance at 9 months of age will mean later in life. However, other studies have found that DHA supplements during pregnancy seem to offer a "developmental advantage" later in childhood as well, Dr. Carol J. Lammi-Keefe, a co-author on the current study...One study found that giving women fish oil during pregnancy and during the first few months of breastfeeding seemed to boost their children's IQ scores at age 4..."DHA during pregnancy has benefits for infant neural development, and most pregnant women can benefit from increasing the intake of DHA in their diets,"..."

Best to get your DHA from either algae based capsules, or fish oil. Both will be safer - no heavy metals issue associated with actual fish.

But again, if it's brain boosting you want for your child, omega-3's offer only a small boost compared to what choline appears to offer.

Also 300mg of DHA is probably too low. Research from Norway has shown greater benefits with higher amounts of DHA. As with choline, I'm sure you'll see the recommended prenatal dose grow year after year. In the Norwegian study they used 1200mg a day. It's the over cautious school of medicine that is at work here. If you want to wait another decade or two before everything is conclusive, stay at the low doses of these. If you want greater health and intellectual benefit for your child - the research is fairly clear - go with a higher dose.

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