DHA Linked to Intelligence in Children

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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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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