Omega-3s in infants improves brain health later
Developing brains benefit from omega-3 fatty acids
by Newsletter Editor
Most studies on omega-3s in childhood test cognition at 18 months, but doctors said young brains take more time to develop. In this study, from birth to 12 months, 81 children took a placebo or one of three doses of the omega-3 DHA per day. The doses were as a percent of total fatty acids in the diet; 0.32, 0.64, or 0.96 percent DHA; plus 0.64 percent arachidonic acid.
At 18 months, the omega-3 groups were no different than placebo, but from three to six years, the DHA groups were better able to learn rules, had higher intelligence scores, and larger vocabulary. Doctors saw the benefits mostly in the lower-dose groups, except cognitive performance scores on one of the standardized tests were best in the higher-dose DHA group.
Discussing their findings, doctors said that, while small, this study may contribute to more sophisticated theories about the benefits of omega-3s for developing brains.