6) Maternal Supplementation With Very-Long-Chain n-3 Fatty Acids During Pregnancy and Lactation Augments Children’s IQ at 4 Years of Age

IB. Helland et al: PEDIATRICS Vol. 111 No. 1 January 2003

“Maternal supplementation with very-long-chain n-3 PUFAs during pregnancy and lactation improves the intelligence of children at 4 years of age. Perhaps adequate supply of very-long-chain PUFA during pregnancy is just as important as in the neonatal period”.

“In a multiple regression model, maternal intake of DHA during pregnancy was the only variable of statistical significance for the children’s mental processing scores at 4 years of age”.

“The maternal intake of DHA during pregnancy seems to be important for mental development measured at 4 years of age. Higher maternal intake of DHA results in higher maternal plasma levels and thereby increased the transfer of DHA to the fetus.31,37 In an observational study, it was recently reported that stereo acuity at age 3.5 years was enhanced among full-term infants whose mothers had a DHA-rich diet during pregnancy.38 Breastfeeding was also associated with enhanced stereopsis, compared with children who had not been breastfed.38 In our study, at least 76 infants were breastfed at 3 months of age, thereby receiving AA as well as DHA via their mothers’ milk”.