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No benefit from prenatal omega-3

A new study reveals that infants born to pregnant mothers who added the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, to their diet did not have greater visual acuity than those whose moms did not supplement their diet with DHA. This comes on the heels of earlier research that suggested DHA improves vision in preterm babies who are given supplements in their first few months of life. DHA passes through the placenta later in pregnancy so infants born prematurely miss out on quite a bit of their prenatal supply of the fatty acid. DHA plays a pivotal role in brain and visual development. Researchers tested visual acuity in 185 four-month-olds whose moms had either been given a DHA-rich fish oil capsule or a placebo capsule of vegetable oil every day, from mid-term pregnancy until delivery. Researchers speculated that one reason that the supplements didn't have an impact on the full-term infants but did seem to benefit preemies given DHA after birth is that the preemies needed the extra DHA while the full-term infants had gotten what they needed while still in the womb. It is still recommended that pregnant women try to get 200 mg of DHA every day and some prenatal vitamins do include the fatty acid. Elise Ervin Staff Writer

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