Aug 2, 2011

DHA supplements does not make babies stronger against infection

/ On : 7:23 AM
GladChild: Giving DHA supplement during pregnancy omega-3 fatty acids reportedly can help prevent infection in infants. But the benefits of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) seem not always apparent in a study of mothers in Mexico.

The researchers say that not all babies benefit from DHA supplement. Not encountered a very striking effect by providing additional DHA in the mother. What we found was a fairly general tendency of the benefits, said study author, Usha Ramakrishnan from Emory University in Atlanta as reported by Reuters on Tuesday August 02, 2011.

Fatty acids like DHA are found in the cells of your body that fight disease. However, research on the effects of fatty acid supplementation in children or adults showed no consistent effect of the immune system. Are pregnant women who are given additional DHA supplement can improve their baby's immune system also remains unclear?

To investigate this question, Ramakrishnan and his colleagues recruited more than 1,000 pregnant women by age content of four to five months. They had previously been getting treatment at a hospital and several health clinics in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Half of the volunteers taking two 200 milligram supplement of DHA every day. Half again as a comparison group, taking twice-daily placebo capsule containing a mixture of corn and soybean oil.

The pregnant women continued to take supplements until delivery. Then they took their baby to a public hospital in Cuernavaca on one, three, and six months after giving birth to check their baby's disease symptoms last.

In the first months, infants of mothers who consumed DHA supplement have a tendency to fewer cold symptoms than infants of mothers who did not consume. Approximately 38 percent of infant DHA group showed symptoms of colds in a few weeks before the scheduled meeting, while the baby is about 45 percent placebo.

At the age of three and six months, there is no clear distinction between the two groups of infants associated with flu symptoms. But in babies who are not sick, those who have obtained maternal DHA has a duration of flu symptoms are shorter. But there are some cases where babies get DHA had cold symptoms for longer than the infants placebo.

Ramakrishnan said that generally quite safe to consume DHA supplement during pregnancy, at least in the doses tested his team. At higher doses, DHA fatty acids may increase the risk of bleeding. Dose of 400 milligrams a day is quite equivalent to what is in prenatal vitamins or a few fish each week.

Because of concerns about mercury, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises pregnant women to limit fish intake only two meals per week and select the fish or shellfish are low in mercury such as salmon and shrimp. Some studies also have linked omega-3 fatty acids with reduced cholesterol and heart disease risk.

So should all pregnant women supplement their diets with DHA for their infants stronger against the infection? I think it can vary, not everyone can benefit, said Ramakrishnan.

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