Does Omega-3 Supplementation During Pregnancy Improve Vision in Infants?

April 28, 2011

Omega-3 has been a recommended supplement for pregnant women by a number of high profile agencies, including the FAO/WHO Expert Consultation, March of Dimes and the scientifically very stringent EFSA (European Food Safety Agency).  They base their stance on a large number of studies showing that DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) is important in normal development of vision in infants.

However a new study called the DHA for Maternal and Infant Outcomes (DOMInO) trial contradicts this evidence.  In the study, conducted in Australia, women were given 800 mg of DHA or a placebo during the second half of their pregnancy.  The visual acuity of the infants was tested 4 months after birth.  No significant differences were found between babies whose mothers had taken DHA vs those who had taken placebo.

The only factor that was found to make a difference was whether or not the mother smoked – smoking by the mother led to poorer vision in the infant.

For an article on the findings, click here.

For the study abstract in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, click here.

Risa Schulman, PhD
Expert, Healthy Food and Dietary Supplement Science, Marketing and Regulatory




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