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Omega-3 improves baby brainpower

High doses of fatty acids prescribed via the mother's breast milk or infant formula improve mental development in pre-term infants.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a 40% reduction in the incidence of mild mental delay was reported in infants weighing less than 1,250 grams who had received high amounts of omega-3 fatty acid (1,000mg per day).

The omega-3 fatty acid, also known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is not sufficiently developed in the brain of babies born before 33 weeks of gestation. This inadequacy places the baby at a greater risk of suffering impaired mental development.

Compared to boys, premature girls fed with DHA-rich diets had better mental development, indicating that boys need higher doses of the compound as they have faster metabolism.

Previous studies had reported that omega-3 fatty acid not only improve brain power but also help tackle major depression, schizophrenia, postpartum depression and Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists concluded that DHA plays a critical role in the development of brain tissue, eyes and visual acuity of the child.

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