Essential Fatty Acids for Baby’s Brain Health

While recent reports question whether fish oil supplements support heart health, scientists have found that the fatty acids they contain are vitally important to the developing brain. Neurobiologists report that dietary deficiencies in the type of fatty acids found in fish and other foods can limit brain growth during fetal development and early in life. The findings suggest that women maintain a balanced diet rich in these fatty acids for themselves during pregnancy and for their babies after birth.

Dietary DHA is mainly found in animal products: fish, eggs and meat. Oily fish — mackerel, herring, salmon, trout and sardines — are the richest dietary source, containing 10 to 100 times more DHA than nonmarine foods such as nuts, seeds, whole grains and dark green, leafy vegetables.

DHA is also found naturally in breast milk. Possibly because of this, the fatty acid is used as a supplement for premature babies and as an ingredient in baby formula during the first four months of life to promote better mental development.

Published in the Journal of Neuroscience.  Click here for full text.

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An important thing to note:

The researchers did focus on dietary sources, that means if you do choose to supplement, make sure your choice is FOOD, not a concentrated form to artificially boost DHA. (This, your body recognizes as a synthetic CHEMICAL, and it will be treated as such.).

If you have questions, please ask!

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