The benefits of supplementation with DHA during pregnancy and while breastfeeding
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is a long chain omega-3 fatty acid that is found throughout the body. More specifically, it is a major structural lipid in the brain and the retina of the eye and is a key component of the heart. A growing body of research continues to support the important role that DHA plays for both mother and baby. Specifically, DHA is important for optimal infant brain, eye and nervous system development, and has been shown to support a healthy pregnancy.
Pregnancy is associated with a reduction in the level of maternal serum DHA and resulting depletion in the maternal store. Since the synthesis of DHA in the foetus and placenta is low, an adequate maternal DHA status is very important.
DHA is only found in useful amounts in the marine environment. Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and sardines are the major source of DHA in the European diet, but the ultimate source of DHA is actually the marine algae that they eat. These algae can be grown in fermenters ...