GOED Responds to DHA, Infant Vision Study

April 23, 2011

The organization cites limitations to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which found no benefit of maternal DHA supplementation on infant visual acuity.

Past clinical research suggests that women supplementing with omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) during pregnancy may improve visual acuity in infants, but research published online on April 13 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests no such benefit.

Australian researchers assigned 182 women in singleton pregnancies to consume DHA-rich fish capsules (800 mg of DHA and 100 mg of EPA) or vegetable capsules (control) daily from mid-pregnancy to delivery. Visual evoked potential (VEP) acuity and latency was then measured in each infant at four months of age.

The researchers concluded that there were no significant differences in VEP acuity or latency in infants of either group.

The Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED; Salt Lake City) has since responded to the study, with a review in its newsletter, Advances in EPA and DHA Research.

GOED’s review notes several potential limitations of the study. The period of supplementation-beginning at mid-pregnancy-may have been too short to produce a significant effect. Blood levels of EPA and DHA and dietary intake of EPA and DHA were not recorded, so subjects in the groups may have had significantly different omega-3 levels beyond what was given through supplements.