What exactly is HA, and why is it said to be important for the baby’s brain? What should I add?

"Take more DHA and your baby will be smarter!" TV and the streets are full of advertisements like this. DHA can be said to be the most hyped nutrient in recent years.

Many businesses have instilled in parents the idea that "the more DHA your baby eats, the smarter he will be." Parents didn't understand what they were hearing, so they obediently gave away their wallets.

But what exactly is DHA? Does it really have such miraculous effects? How should we supplement it for our children?

What kind of substance is DHA?

The full name of DHA is "docosahexaenoic acid", which is an unsaturated fatty acid. It is an important component of the brain and retina in the human body. It is also an indispensable substance for the growth of nerve cells and has a great impact on vision.

Some studies have found that a lack of DHA will lead to insufficient number and growth of brain cells in babies,algal oil powder manufacturer resulting in smaller brain size and lower quality.

It is for this reason that many businesses claim that babies can become smarter by supplementing more DHA.

But in practice, this is a wrong interpretation.algae oil supplement If the baby is deficient in DHA, it will indeed affect brain development; but if the baby is not deficient in DHA, the brain development will be normal, and research has not proven that further supplementation will be beneficial.

So calling DHA "brain gold" is more of a marketing tool. If you treat it as a nutrient like a vitamin, doesn't it sound much simpler?

How to supplement DHA for babies?

Although DHA cannot make babies smarter,ara oil it is an indispensable substance for brain growth and development, and it still needs to be supplemented in appropriate amounts.

Generally, the human body’s demand for DHA is not high, and most people’s needs can be met through dietary supplements.

1. When should I supplement DHA?

As mentioned above, the primary role of DHA is to participate in brain development, so it must be supplemented during the critical period of baby's brain development. If the baby's brain is mature, supplementation will have no effect.

From the third month of pregnancy until the child is 3 years old, it is a critical moment for his brain development and requires sufficient DHA participation.

For pregnant mothers, they should consume foods containing 200 mg of DHA every day to pass the DHA in the food to the fetus.

However, according to surveys, Chinese mothers only consume an average of 55.3 mg of DHA per day, and American mothers only consume an average of 73 mg per day.

Therefore, the Nutrition Society and the American Institute of Medicine jointly recommend that pregnant mothers can eat 200-300g of DHA-rich marine fish, such as salmon, cod, etc., every week.

It should be noted that large marine fish may be rich in mercury and other pollutants, so pregnant mothers must avoid them.

For children aged 0-3, a daily intake of 100 mg of DHA is enough to meet their normal development needs.

2. What foods can I use to supplement DHA?

Foods naturally rich in DHA are mainly seaweed and marine fish, so mothers during pregnancy and lactation should pay attention to eating an appropriate amount of these foods and follow the recommendations above.

If you can’t eat it for various reasons, you can consider taking some DHA supplements, most of which are extracted from seaweed and marine fish.

For babies who still need to breastfeed, breast milk is the main source of DHA, and the DHA in breast milk comes from the food the mother eats. As long as the mother eats these foods as recommended, the baby will not be deficient in DHA.

For mixed-feeding or formula-fed children, a certain amount of DHA will be added to the milk powder. Parents can do a little calculation to determine how much milk powder the child needs to drink every day to get 100 mg of DHA.

When the child starts to add complementary foods, you can give him some food such as salmon. Eating fish two to three times a week will satisfy his needs.

3. Are DHA supplements necessary?

Although fish and algae are the best sources of DHA, if mothers and babies do not like to eat these things, are allergic to these things, or cannot eat them, then DHA supplements are really needed to help.

This requires the well-known fish oil or algae oil. So which one is better, fish oil or algae oil?

Some people are worried that fish oil contains heavy metals and other harmful substances, while others are worried that fish oil contains EPA, which may be harmful to children.

But generally speaking, DHA supplements that can be put on the market meet health standards, and the heavy metal content is far below the standard value; EPA is not useful for children, but there is no research to prove that it is harmful.

So there is no difference between the two, but for peace of mind, you can choose algae oil-based DHA supplements for your children.

4. What to do with premature babies?

Premature babies have less DHA from their mothers, so they need additional supplements.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends additional DHA supplementation based on the weight of premature infants, so parents should consult their doctor in advance to determine the amount of daily supplementation.

DHA is crucial to the baby's brain development. Mothers should pay attention to supplementing the appropriate amount of DHA from the third month of pregnancy until the baby is 3 years old.

Not only is it not a panacea, as long as it is supplemented appropriately, the baby's brain can develop normally. Excessive supplementation is actually of little significance, and don't waste money.