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Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Very Important Gift For Your Children - DHA

I know that all you moms and moms-to-be can relate with the thought that is constantly going through my mind, "Am I doing the right things for the baby growing inside of me?" We all want the best for our little ones, and we all have high hopes and dreams for their future. I wanted to share with you something I have been reading about for the last couple months and even before. It is the importance of DHA in our children's lives.

First, what is DHA? Docosahexaenoic acid or DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that occurs naturally in fish oils. DHA is one of the omega-3 fatty acids that have been proven to increase brain development in infants and children. It's shown to extend the power of babies and toddlers to develop eye coordination and also hand to eye coordination in school age children.

DHA consumption is especially important during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester when DHA accumulates in the fetal brain at a very high rate. It is during that third trimester that the baby forms the majority of brain cells that they will have for an entire lifetime!!! In order to support brain development in your baby, the recommended level of intake of DHA during pregnancy is 300 mg per day. Yet in the United States and Canada, DHA intake during pregnancy is only 10-15 mg/day. Shocking, I know!!

Unfortunately, many food sources of omega-3 fatty acids in the American diet, even many omega-3 fortified foods and supplements, are primarily composed of the omega-3 fatty acid linolenic acid, and the conversion of linolenic acid to DHA is extremely limited. So, what do you do?

Well, I will tell you what I did to take action. First of all, I wanted to take a holistic approach, so we got rid of as many sources of toxins in our lives we could, starting with our cleaners and switched to the Get Clean Line. Then, I changed our diet to organic and started supplementing with Shaklee multivitamins and other supplements, especially OmegaGuard, which has tons of triple purified DHA and other good fatty acids for the baby growing inside me. My two year old son takes Mighty Smart, Shaklee's kid's DHA supplement. We also try to eat Alaskan Salmon at least once/week and sneak ground up flaxseed in lots of dishes. I feel so much better knowing I am doing what I can to help my children live up to their potential and have healthy strong bodies.

Ooooh, and I wanted to share this cool study with you!

A study published in the June 2009 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that when expectant mothers supplemented with DHA during pregnancy their infants had better problem solving skills at 9 months.

This was the very first study to look at the effect of DHA supplementation during pregnancy on problem solving skills at such a young age. Basically, the results of the study just mean that when the moms supplemented with DHA their kids were smarter - and were smarter at a very early age.

Pretty amazing, right? With all these cool giveaways I am having for the Welcome Baby Blog Event, if there is one additional gift that you could give your baby, DHA appears to be it.


  1. I was not aware of these studies concerning DHA. Thanks for pointing my way to them. I am going to seek more info.

  2. The more I learn about flaxseed, the more I want to fine ways to incorporate it into our family's diet. Very interesting post! Thank you.


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