Just because the school holidays are here doesn’t mean we can ease up on our children’s mental health support. A truly healthy, functioning brain can be supported and even improved by regular, consistent nourishment.
Studies such as the one below explain the vital role of Omega 3 long-chain fatty acids in pregnancy and the role they play in the developing minds of children. In fact, IQ scores have been measurably improved by the consistent supplementation of high quality Omega 3.
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Read the full article below.
Dr Arianna Carughi’s article, The Role of Omega-3 Long-Chain Fatty Acids During Pregnancy, addresses IQ scores in infants whose mothers received Omega 3 during pregnancy.
A recent study shows that omega-3 intake during the last months of pregnancy enhances an infant’ssensory, cognitive, and motor development. Researchers measured DHA concentration in the blood of the umbilical cord of 109 infants. DHA concentration in the umbilical cord is a good indicator of intra-uterine exposure to omega-3 fatty acids during the last trimester of pregnancy. Tests conducted on these infants at 6 and 11 months showed that their visual acuity as well as their cognitive and motor development was closely linked to DHA concentration in the umbilical cord blood at the time of their birth. Researchers observed that DHA concentration in the umbilical cord blood was in direct relation with the concentration found in a mother’s blood, a reminder of the importance of a mother’s diet in providing omega-3 fatty acids for the foetus. They also noted that DHA concentration was higher in the foetus’s blood than in the mother’s. xvi
In another study, researchers found that infants born to mothers with higher blood levels of DHA at delivery had greater attention span well into their second year of life. During the first six months of life, these infants were two months ahead of those babies whose mothers had lower DHA levels. The study involved about 70 mothers and infants. At the ages of 4-, 6-, and 8-months of age, the babies were tested for visual learning ability. Babies born to mothers who had higher blood levels of DHA scored better on the attention tests until 6 months of age, and they scored better on different tests designed to measure visual learning in older babies at 1 year and 18 months. xvii
A large longitudinal study of more than 11,000 pregnant women compared their children’s’ cognitive performance from age 6 months to 8 years. Children were grouped according to the amount of seafood mothers ate during pregnancy. Maternal seafood intake during pregnancy of less than 340g per week was associated with increased risk of their children being in the bottom 25% for verbal intelligence quotient (IQ) compared with mothers who consumed more than 340 g per week. Low maternal seafood intake was also associated with increased risk of suboptimum outcomes for pro-social behavior, fine motor, communication, and social development scores. For each measure tested, the lower the intake of seafood during pregnancy, the higher the risk of suboptimum developmental outcome. xviii
In another study Helland et alxix reported that supplementing pregnant and lactating women with omega-3 fatty acids promoted higher IQ scores at 4 years of age as compared with maternal supplementation with omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. In a follow-up study, the children were examined at 7 years of age. Researchers found that mother’s who had higher plasma concentrations of ALA and DHA during pregnancy did better in sequential processing.xx
A recent study looked at the association between maternal fish intake during pregnancy and hyperactivity scores and verbal IQ in their children. After adjustment for potential confounding factors researchers found that children whose mothers had eaten oily fish in early pregnancy had a reduced risk of hyperactivitycompared to those whose mothers did not eat oily fish. Children whose mothers had eaten fish (whether oily or non-oily) in late pregnancy had a verbal IQ that was 7.55 points higher than those whose mothers did not eat fish. xxi