Prenatal omega-3 intake and visual function in school age


In order to examine the long-term effect of omega-3 intake during gestation on visual development, a recent Canadian study has assessed the DHA and EPA concentrations in the umbilical cord of 171 Inuit children (mean age: 11.3 years old), whose mothers had previously participated in a Cord Blood Monitoring Program. The study assessed their visual acuity, using visual evoked potentials (that measure the electrical signals to the brain generated by visual stimuli and reflect the maturation and the functional integrity of the visual system).

Fish and marine mammals are an important part of the Inuit diet and it is known that the maternal-to-fetal transfer of DHA during gestation is strongly influenced by dietary intake of DHA. The researchers observed beneficial effects on visual function in relation to cord DHA; that is, the beneficial effects of DHA intake during the prenatal period on visual system function persist at school age.


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