Docosahexaenoic acid is the name of a structural fatty acid which is found in the gray matter of the brain and the retina. 60% of human brain, which commands the entire body, is made of fatty acids.
A healthy and balanced diet is a strict necessity for good health all over the life. During the pregnancy period the mother and the baby needs extra nutrients and Docosahexaenoic acid serves the purpose properly. DHA is necessary for the structural formation of photoreceptor cells in the eyes that enables to recognize light in its various hues and hence for good vision. If it’s deficiency is there, developements could cease. It also helps to reduce pre-term labour.
A small level of DHA is present in the human body already. Reduced amount of DHA leads to mood swings, visual inabilities and reduced memory sharpness. DHA is found in non-veg diets and eggs. People like vegetarians usually have low DHA levels.
Continuous suppy of DHA is very necessary for a expecting mother or say pregnant lady. It plays a pivotal role in the mental developement of the child in the last three months. In this duration, most of the DHA is transferred to the foetus by the mother and that is used to construct the important parts of the brain, If the mother is not provided with that much excess amount of the DHA that the foetus is going to consume, the foetus will extract the mother’s part of DHA that she has stored in her own tissue like the brain. Therefore, pregnant women must be supplied increased amount of DHA in this duration or she may suffer postpartum depression, short term memory loss or permanent memory loss depending upon the amount of the loss.
After the birth of the child the need of DHA for a mother is not a single bit reduced. The baby still needs a sufficient amount of DHA continuously in order to compensate the developement of his mind which is going to be tripled specially in the first year. therefore soon-to-be-mothers and the breast- feeding mothers must consume a good amount of DHA for the rapid brain growth of the baby.
Some prime source of DHA for children and pregnant and breast feeding mother are algae supplements. Fish is also a direct source of DHA supplement but DHA supplements derived from fish are not recommended for breastfeeding mothers and and the children younger than 5 years because it contains fairly large anmount of EPA and moderate amount of DHA.