How did DHA help me even before I was conceived?
By helping your mother. And your father, too. In women, the first pregnancy-related need for fatty acids occurs during the three months before conception. During this critical time, cells in the ovaries are dividing and committing themselves to becoming egg cells. Healthy, viable eggs require DHA and arachidonic acid to grow and develop.
In men, DHA is highly concentrated in the testicles, where sperm form. It is needed to regulate enzymes in the process of making sperm. Sperm itself has high concentrations of DHA, too. Here, DHA seems to be needed to help energize sperm and increase its mobility. In fact, infertile men have been found to have low DHA levels.
Clearly, healthy eggs and viable sperm need DHA. The details of this important role is still being worked out. When a sperm cell fertilizes an egg cell, conception occurs, and an incredible nine-month journey begins. Even though we know some of what goes on during pregnancy, we are far from fully comprehending the details. No human technology comes remotely close to matching the speed, efficiency, accuracy, and intricacy with which fetal development occurs inside the womb. And the success of the process will depend in part on adequate amounts of DHA.
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