Are DHA Supplements for Premature Babies Useful

 

DHA: On Further Thought Dr. Klaper

Video taken from the channel: VegSource


 

DHA and Baby Brain Development TheVisualMD.com

Video taken from the channel: theVisualMD.com


 

Nutrition in Preterm Infants: Evidence and Practice

Video taken from the channel: Mead Johnson Nutrition Healthcare Professional


 

When to start DHA supplementation?

Video taken from the channel: Nestlé Nutrition Institute


 

DHA Needs During Pregnancy // Plant-Based + Vegan

Video taken from the channel: Plant-Based Juniors


 

DHA Needs For Children

Video taken from the channel: Plant-Based Juniors


 

Role of DHA, ARA and phospholipids in cognitive development of infants

Video taken from the channel: NNISouthAsia


Because of its association with respiratory health, doctors have wondered if giving DHA supplements to premature infants could help reduce their rates of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. One of the main medical complications that can occur with premature infants is respiratory problems, or lung problems, since preemie babies. High-dose DHA supplementation may help decrease neurodevelopmental delays in preterm children Given the increasing rate of babies delivered prior to term in this country (and globally), finding effective strategies for remediating the developmental consequences of being born too early are necessary.

Two different clinical trials—one in the US, the other in Australia—administered daily DHA supplements to moms-to-be with low-, moderateand high-risk pregnancies. Based on the decrease in deliveries at a higher risk for being preterm, researchers think a daily supplement could prevent more than 106,000 premature births. Why is DHA Important for Babies? During the first two years of life, your baby’s brain develops faster than it ever will.

In fact, the brain grows 175% in the first year. That’s why many experts believe it’s important for babies to receive DHA during this time of rapid brain development. Babies get DHA in the womb.

A supplement of 600 mg DHA/d in the last half of gestation resulted in overall greater gestation duration and infant size. A reduction in early preterm and very-low birth weight could be important clinical and public health outcomes of DHA supplementation. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials DHA supplementation. Once an infant is born, DHA is important for healthy vision, healthy cognition, and a healthy immune system. 3-5 Statistically, mothers with high DHA levels during pregnancy have longer pregnancies 6-8 and fewer preterm births (<34 weeks).

6,8,9 Babies born to these moms tend to have higher birthweigh. Omega-3 fats are essential fatty acids that play a central role in several aspects of your health. ALA, EPA, and DHA are the three main types available in foods and supplements.

Omega-3 benefits. DHA is commonly used for heart disease and high cholesterol. It is also used for boosting memory and thinking skills, for aiding infant and child development, for certain eye disorders, and many.

Premature infants babies born before 37 weeks have unique nutritional needs. Babies born early may have lower vitamin and mineral stores than babies born after a full-term pregnancy. Preterm infants may also have higher nutritional needs for not only calories, but also for vitamins and minerals for some time. Dietary and Infant Formula Sources for DHA The best dietary sources of DHA for pregnant and lactating women, as well as for infants and children, should be reviewed to promote optimal nutritional intake and improved neurodevelopmental outcomes in infants and children.

The best sources of DHA are fatty fish, eggs, and some meats.

List of related literature:

Clandinin et al. (1980) have shown that the accretion of DHA and ARA by the fetal brain during the last trimester of gestation is essential; therefore, infants born prematurely are at an increased risk of having a decreased level of these two fatty acids.

“Functional Food Product Development” by Jim Smith, Edward Charter
from Functional Food Product Development
by Jim Smith, Edward Charter
Wiley, 2011

Folate supplementation throughout pregnancy also helps prevent premature delivery of lowbirthweight infants and is recommended for premature infants and lactating mothers.

“Goldman's Cecil Medicine,Expert Consult Premium Edition Enhanced Online Features and Print, Single Volume,24: Goldman's Cecil Medicine” by Russell La Fayette Cecil, Lee Goldman, Andrew I. Schafer
from Goldman’s Cecil Medicine,Expert Consult Premium Edition Enhanced Online Features and Print, Single Volume,24: Goldman’s Cecil Medicine
by Russell La Fayette Cecil, Lee Goldman, Andrew I. Schafer
Elsevier/Saunders, 2012

Overall, these studies show that providing larger amounts of DHA supplements, especially to the smallest infants, is associated with better neurologic outcomes in early life [34].

“Textbook of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition: A Comprehensive Guide to Practice” by Stefano Guandalini, Anil Dhawan, David Branski
from Textbook of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition: A Comprehensive Guide to Practice
by Stefano Guandalini, Anil Dhawan, David Branski
Springer International Publishing, 2015

Formulas for premature infants include DHA.

“Becoming Vegan, Express Edition: The Everyday Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition” by Brenda Davis, RD, Vesanto Melina, MS, RD
from Becoming Vegan, Express Edition: The Everyday Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
by Brenda Davis, RD, Vesanto Melina, MS, RD
Book Publishing Company, 2013

Premature infants fed formulas supplemented with ARA and DHA frequently demonstrate greater gain in weight and length and higher psychomotor development scores than premature infants not receiving the fatty acid supplementation (Lapillonne and Moltu, 2016).

“Krause and Mahan’s Food and the Nutrition Care Process E-Book” by Janice L Raymond, Kelly Morrow
from Krause and Mahan’s Food and the Nutrition Care Process E-Book
by Janice L Raymond, Kelly Morrow
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2020

That said, premature babies—and full-term babies—can still get a great start in life by consuming formulas fortified with omega-3s, especially in the form of EPA and DHA rather than ALA.

“Superfuel: Ketogenic Keys to Unlock the Secrets of Good Fats, Bad Fats, and Great Health” by Dr. James DiNicolantonio, Dr. Joseph Mercola
from Superfuel: Ketogenic Keys to Unlock the Secrets of Good Fats, Bad Fats, and Great Health
by Dr. James DiNicolantonio, Dr. Joseph Mercola
Hay House, 2018

One exception to this is a trial conducted by Goldenberg and colleagues in which they provided low-income, zinc-deficient pregnant women (n = 580) with either a zinc supplement (25mg/day) or a placebo from 19 weeks of gestation to delivery [91].

“Handbook of Nutrition and Pregnancy” by Carol J. Lammi-Keefe, E.A. Reese, Sarah C. Couch, Elliot Philipson
from Handbook of Nutrition and Pregnancy
by Carol J. Lammi-Keefe, E.A. Reese, et. al.
Humana Press, 2008

While use of some supplements is based on sound evidence of efficacy, e.g. folate in pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects, use of others is based on more dubious claims or misinformation (Satia-Abouta et al., 2003).

“Manual of Dietetic Practice” by Joan Gandy
from Manual of Dietetic Practice
by Joan Gandy
Wiley, 2019

Falcao S, Bisotto S, Gutkowska J, Lavoie JL: Hyperhomocysteinemia is not sufficient to cause preeclampsia in an animal model: The importance of folate intake.

“High Risk Pregnancy E-Book: Management Options Expert Consult” by David K. James, Philip J. Steer, Carl P. Weiner, Bernard Gonik
from High Risk Pregnancy E-Book: Management Options Expert Consult
by David K. James, Philip J. Steer, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2010

Given DHA’s importance to babies, mothers-to-be should take supplements for the duration of their pregnancy.

“Dr. Atkins' Vita-nutrient Solution: Nature's Answers to Drugs” by Robert C. Atkins, M.D., Robert C. Atkins
from Dr. Atkins’ Vita-nutrient Solution: Nature’s Answers to Drugs
by Robert C. Atkins, M.D., Robert C. Atkins
Simon & Schuster, 1998

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Biography: https://medicine.yale.edu/profile/kutluk_oktay/
Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

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17 comments

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  • Hi all, I heared that flax seeds should ideally be sprouted and then grinded…. anyone who can comment on this topic of sprouted vs non sprouted flax seeds? Is non sprouted beneficial enough?

  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega–3 fatty acid which is an essential fatty acid. Essential fatty acids cannot be synthesized in the body…Refer to https://www.pediatriconcall.com/articles/nutrition/dha-in-children/dha-in-children#1799

  • Well, there it isthe final word on DHA supplementation, in light of what is currently known, which is not much, or rather, not enough. Much thanks to Dr. Klaper, who continues to be a beacon of wisdom and ethics, and has tirelessly advocated the vegan lifestyle for 40 years

  • Love you Dr. Klaper. Thank. you for the advice. I never eat Flaxseed, hemp or Chia and will start immediately! I’d much prefer eating my vitamins than taking a pill.

  • a teaspoon of oil isn’t gonna put your body totally out of whack. Get real. You know how much oil americans eat everyday? So if you have an oil free diet and eat a teaspoon of algae omega 3 you aren’t gonna mess up anything

  • Well, changing your position as your knowledge changes is how science works, no need to apologize. Certainly a lot easier to do when you are not selling books, products, diet plans…

  • I’d love to see more research in this issue but there’s little profit in any product so it’s not likely there will be. This is where the gov testing should come in. Thanks for the video and honesty.

  • I often read comments about “bad conversion” of ALA into DHA and EPA, Beta-carotene into Retinol, K1 into K2 and so on. What are the science behind it and how should we who question the necessity of supplements answer to such claims (it goes also for bad methylation, etc.). thank you.

  • The main reason why 2 tbsp of grounded flax seeds might not be “enough” to allow our body to convert ALA to DHA EPA is because they contain arsenic + some anti nutrients, and so they have to be sprouted (as the ancients always did with seeds) before to be ingested by humans. Anti-oxydants from tea and grapes should also be added to the mix

    In France we have a Doctor in nutrition offering this mix ready to use, it’s called: nutreine Philobio.

    I do not know if you can find something similar in the US or UK

  • When it comes to supplements in general, I think it’s best to err on the side of caution. B12, and vitamin D, ( intermittently ) are my only exceptions.

  • I heard flax seeds is interfering with mal testosterone! Can you please talk about that……reason that flaxseeds are on the hit-list for raising testosterone is because they are rich in lignans, which tend to mimic estrogen in the body. Since estrogen is the opposing sex hormone to testosterone, the more of it you have (particularly if you are a man), the more low testosterone-like symptoms you’ll have.
    Thanks

  • Current research even with high dose DHA has not reported any serious adverse effects in children..Learn more from  https://www.pediatriconcall.com/articles/nutrition/dha-faqs/dha-faqs#1782

  • I really appreciate your respectful, thoughtful presentation of the facts! So refreshing after all the negative bashing that’s been going on. We each have to make our own informed decisions on diet and supplementation.

  • According to cronometer, cauliflower has 84% daily req. of omega 3 and just 17% of fat. It’s also rich in vitamins and protein compared to flax seed.

  • Great video. I’m going stick to my low fat vegan diet. It works for me. I only have to see the doctor once a year now. I still eat peanut butter.����

  • Wouldn’t you just take an omega 3 index test before considering supplementation? Can do these yourself no need to go to the doctor. I actually wrote this before he mentioned it but stands to reason.

  • What about the cyanide in flax seeds? Can that be a hazard if you overdo it? Dr Greger limits his personal use to about a tablespoon of ground flax seed per day.