DHA Linked to Intelligence in Children
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
Two new human studies confirm an extensive body of science showing that DHA intake during brain development promotes a healthier brain.
The first study looked into 479 children aged 7-9 who were below average for reading but did not suffer from specific learning disabilities. Lower DHA concentrations were associated with poorer reading, memory, and behavioral problems.
In a second study, 62 children were supplemented with DHA as infants up to 18 months old (compared to a control group), and then tested every 6 months for 6 years (while not being supplemented with DHA). The researchers found that the DHA supplemented children scored higher on rule learning, vocabulary, and intelligence testing – with most changes noticeable from ages 3-6. This means that early DHA supplementation during brain formation paid off later.
DHA is abnormally lacking from the processed-food diet of the modern world. Nursing mothers should ensure high DHA intake. Small soft gel capsules are relatively easy for children to learn to swallow, which is a very easy way to help build healthier brain cells and help a child maximize genetic potential for intelligence.
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