The DHA can be found in all cell membranes and, consequently, in all organs and tissues of our body. DHA performs a key function in our nervous system, and it is essential for the correct development, growth and function of nerve cells.
Various studies have revealed that children who receive an adequate supply of DHA during the foetal stage and their first years of life demonstrate enhanced cerebral development and greater functional capacity.
The research carried out by Dr Carlson in the USA has shown that children who receive higher quantities of DHA during the foetal stage and their first years of life display greater cerebral development and a higher IQ. Moreover, the WHO, the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) and the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) recommend that infant formulas be enriched with DHA to ensure correct brain development.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) places special emphasis on the importance of DHA at these ages.
In certain circumstances involving emotional state, behaviour and learning in children, paediatricians may recommend very high doses of DHA, which makes dietary supplements essential, as it is not possible to achieve such doses by increasing fish consumption.
(J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2004;38:2-3)