How much DHA does a pregnant mother need?
Recent data suggest at least 100 mg to 400 mg daily. This is about how much DHA is in a 4 ounce serving of a cold water, fatty fish, like cod or salmon. Interestingly, some Oriental cultures are extremely careful about what a pregnant woman can or cannot eat, and one of the extra foods she is urged to eat is fish. Such nutritional wisdom based on observation and common sense now makes tremendous sense scientifically.
What will happen if the mother does not have enough DHA to provide the fetus?
The fetus simply does not have the enzymes necessary to form its own DHA. It relies entirely on the mother to provide it. If the mother simply does not have enough, the fetus will have no choice but substitute other fatty acids instead, inferior materials which were not meant to be used. This may result in irreversible damage to the brain and nerve tissue. Later in life, the child may suffer serious vision problems, or have difficulty learning and thinking. This unfortunate consequence is often observed in those who were born prematurely.
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