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Bigger Better Babies Part 2By: DAVE WOYNAROWSKI, M.D.
The World's Top Anti-Aging Specialist
In this article we are going to examine the topic of brain development during and immediately after pregnancy as it relates to Omega 3 fatty acid supplementation and surprise surprise, Fish Oil.
I should note that the flax oil people are very unhappy with me because I point out some of the weaknesses in their arguments for using flax.
Here is another one. I have said many times that I would be more enamored of flax oil if there were anywhere near the amount of well done scientific studies to support its use.
There is a wealth of studies about fish oil and fetal development. There is not about flax and fetal development.
Maternal transfer of essential fatty acids to the developing fetus during pregnancy appears to be critical for healthy brain development. In this case Omega 6 fatty acids are also included in "essential" since they cannot be made by the fetus. The assumption is that since most Western diets are rich in Omega 6 fatty acids they are not nearly as likely to be deficient as Omega 3's. The recent study on fetal size and growth points this out. (See yesterday's email).
First let's look at an extension of the brain, the retina. This is the area of the brain where visual data is gathered and transmitted to the visual cortex at the back of the brain.
Fish Oil supplementation appears to improve retinal sensitivity in newborns thus giving them an advantage of better eyesight at least at birth.
Reference: Invest. Opthalmol Vis Sci. 2003 Aug;44 (8) 3685-91.
The next study deals with preterm infants.
Reference Lipids 2003 Apr;38(4);303-15.
And here's another one: Long Chain polyunsaturated Fatty Acids improve cognitive development. J Family Health care 2002;12 (6 supplement):5.
This particular study points out that more and more preterm infants are surviving to school age where more and more Neuro-cognitive defects are being seen. In other words there are more brain damaged children entering our educational systems.
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