More good news from the Great White North! A recent research study conducted in a population of Canadian Inuit has reinforced the importance of omega-3 fatty acids in the early development of the human central nervous system (Jacobson, et. al., J Pediatr 2008). This study looked at the levels of DHA found in the umbilical cord blood at birth, in the mother’s blood and in breast milk and examined the relationship between higher levels and various measures of infant growth and development. DHA is a component of the omega-3 class of fatty acids and is found in significant quantities in the brain. It has been found to be critically important for vision and learning, most markedly in the third trimester when the brain and eyes undergo a rapid growth spurt.
What the researchers found was that higher levels of DHA in the umbilical cord blood correlated with longer gestational period, better visual acuity and novelty preference (a measure of IQ) at 6 months and better mental and psychomotor performance at 11 months of age. The effect of high DHA levels in breast milk did not have the same effect, meaning that the most critical time to be sufficient is DURING pregnancy, not after. At Innate Choice® we advocate sufficiency at ALL times and this is supported by other research that shows infants supplemented with omega-3s during pregnancy and lactation periods have higher IQ scores at 4 years of age (Helland, Pediatrics, 2003).
A very important aspect of this research is that the high levels of DHA came from the mothers’ diets which were high in natural, unconcentrated oils from fish and sea mammals and NOT from artificially concentrated "Pregnancy or Pediatric Omega-3 formulas". These results mirror those found in Finland where fish is also a substantial part of the daily diet. Unfortunately eating a lot of fish exposes these populations to high levels of environmental contaminants such as PCBs and mercury, something that the researchers had to take into consideration (Jacobson, et. al., J Pediatr 2008). We developed our organically filtered, contaminant-free Innate Choice® Omega Sufficiency™ so everybody can safely benefit from a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil.
As much as this research solidifies the importance of being sufficient in omega-3s during pregnancy, please remember our motto "Everybody Everyday For Life!™". We ALL need omega-3s and it is never too early (or too late) to benefit from becoming sufficient in this essential nutrient. Please check www.innatechoice.com/faq.cfm or ask your wellness professional for more information on the world’s premier fish oil supplement, Omega Sufficiency™.