Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Healthy Pregnancy and Infant and Childhood Development



Research is clear that pregnant women, the fetus, newborn infants and children all require sufficient EPA and DHA for proper health and development and the prevention of disability and illness. Very importantly, the EFA intake of the mother determines the amount of these vitally important nutrients that she can supply to her developing fetus and to her newborn infant during breastfeeding. Sufficiency of EPA and DHA Omega 3 EFAs as found in Omega Sufficiency® is so important researchers from the Mayo Clinic recommended that EPA and DHA be supplemented in every pregnancy and that refined and hydrogenated fats be avoided during this critical period.
Scientific research indicates that deficiencies in EPA and DHA Omega 3 EFAs have significant consequences to both mother and child. In 1996, Frank Oski, retired chairman of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University led a campaign of alarmed researchers and clinicians who bombarded the FDA with over 1,000 letters pleading and demanding that they ensure the health and welfare of our children by mandating the addition of DHA to infant formula.

EPA and DHA deficiency in pregnancy has been scientifically linked to post-partum depression, pre-term delivery, delays in intrauterine growth, and pregnancy-induced hypertension.

Studies have shown that EPA and DHA Omega 3 fatty acids are crucial for brain growth and development, intelligence, learning, and behaviour. Researchers in Dallas conducted a randomized, controlled study on DHA and mental development in term infants (2000). They found that adding DHA to infant formulas improved both motor and cognitive function of infants.

In the recent Oxford – Durham study significant improvements were found in reading, spelling, and behaviour over 3 months of EPA/DHA supplementation; 7 of 16 of the participants who were diagnosed with ADHD no longer met the diagnostic criteria for ADHD after supplementation! A study published in the journal Physiology of Behaviour showed that deficiencies in Omega 3 fatty acids were significantly correlated with behaviour problems in boys aged 6 to 12.

The evidence is clear; pregnant women, breastfeeding women, infants, and children all require sufficient EPA/DHA as found in Omega Sufficiency® for proper health and development and for the prevention of disability and illness.

For more information, please contact my office.

In your health
Dr. Jon Wise

References

Birch, E. E., Garfield, S., Hoffman, D.R., Uauy, R, Birch, D.G. A randomized controlled trial of early dietary supply of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and mental development in term infants. Developmental Medicine in Child Neurology, 2000, March, 42(3), p 174-81.

Burgess et al. Long –chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Am J Clin Nutr, 2000 71 (1): 327-330

Connor, W.E. Importance of n-3 fatty acids in health and disease. Am J Clin Nutr, 2000 71(1): 171S-175S

Connor, W.E. et al. Increased docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels in human newborn infants by the administration of sardines and fish oils during pregnancy. Lipids 1996; 31 (suppl): S183-7.

do Nascimento, CM, Oyama, LM. Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids essential for brain growth and development. Nutrition, 2003 Jan: 19 (1): 66

Farquharson, J. et al. Infant cerebral cortex phospholipids fatty acid composition and diet. Lancet 1992;340:810-13.

Holman, Ralph T., Johnson, Susan, Ogburn, Paul (Mayo Clinic) Deficiency of essential fatty acids and membrane fluidity during pregnancy and lactation. Biochemistry, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol. 88: 4835-4839, June 1991.

Lucas, A. et al. Breast milk and subsequent intelligence quotient in children born pre-term. Lancet 1992; 339: 261-4

Makrides, M. et al. Fatty acid composition of brain, retina, and erythrocytes in breast and formula fed infants. Am J Clin Nutr 1994; 60: 189-194

Myanaga, K., K. Yonemura, and K. Yazawa. (1996). DHA shortens P300 latency in healthy persons. In International Conference on Highly Unsaturated Fatty Acids in Nutrition and Disease Prevention. Bxarcelona, Spain.

Olsen, SF, Secher, NJ, Tabor, A, Weber, T, Walker, JJ, Gluud. (2000). Randomized clinical trials of fish oil supplementation in high risk pregnancies. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol.107(3), p. 382-95.

Richardson AJ, Montgomery P. The Oxford-Durham study: a randomized, controlled trial of dietary supplementation with fatty acids in children with developmental coordination disorder. Pediatrics. 2005 May;115(5):1360-6.

Stevens, LJ, Zentall, SS, Abate, ML, Kuczek, T, Burgess JR. (1996). Omega-3 fatty acids in boys with behavior, learning, and health problems. Physiology of Behaviour, vol. 59(4-5):915-20.

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