There is a strong correlation between infant red blood cell DHA level and visual acuity. According to the investigation conducted by Innis et al, it was found out that, infants with the highest DHA levels in their red blood cells had the highest visual acuity at the ages of 2 and 12 months. Also, Birch et al have evaluated visual acuity of infants with different diets during a 4-month-feeding study. One group of infants was exclusively fed with unsupplemented formula, whereas another group was fed with 0.35% DHA supplemented formula, and the 3rd group was fed with breast milk with 0.29% DHA. The result was that visual acuity, as measured by visual evoked potential (VEP), of infants fed with DHA supplemented formulae were similar to those fed with breast milk. Infants fed with unsupplemented formula had the lowest visual acuity. Hence, it is very critical to have sufficient DHA in breast milk or formulas for infants to build a high visual acuity during the first year of life.
Besides, there is a strong relationship between red blood cell DHA level and cognitive outcomes. According to the National Center for Biotechnology, it is shown that a high concentration of DHA in breast milk is directly correlated with better growth and development of the brain in children. In the same study by Birch et al, infants who were fed with DHA supplemented formulas had significantly higher Mental Development Index and Psychomotor Development Index scores at the age of 18 months than the unsupplemented group. Years after, Birch performed assessments on the preschoolers who took part in the 4-month-feeding study. It was found out that the performance IQ scores of children fed with breast milk and DHA-supplemented formulas during infancy are higher than those fed with unsupplemented formulas. All these support that the early dietary supply of DHA significantly improves cognitive performance.
In case a poor diet is consumed during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the mother’s own nutrient stores will be reduced. It is therefore very important that a healthy diet is followed between pregnancies, as well as during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Although seafood is one of the sources of DHA, its consumption should be limited, in order to minimize the intake of heavy metals, including mercury, into babies via breast milk. Alternative sources from plants are thus preferred. OmegiaTM DHA, exclusively supplied by Puredia, is a blend of supercritical CO2 extracted Puredia Seaberry® oil and Puredia AlgiaTM DHA oil. Not only does it provide omega-6, 7 and 9, but also a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids (DHA), which is beneficial for the brain, neural and eye development in infants.