DHA Supplements During Pregnancy: Research Transition from Nutritional Short-Term Maternal Benefits to Long-Term Benefits for Fetus

Abstract

DHA supplements have long known to have beneficial effects to the neonate. Recently, studies have found that DHA supplementation during pregnancy offers longer gestational period and larger gestational size of the baby amongst other nutritional benefits. Currently, however, the focus of such research has shifted from rather maternal benefits to postnatal benefits of the fetus. The aim of this paper is thus, to explore this shift through a review of recent literature from a biomedical perspective. This is achieved through three phases. Firstly, the synthesis of DHA in the mammalian body is investigated to establish the necessity for supplements, namely due to them being essential fatty acids. Secondly, the role of DHA in fetal metabolism is investigated and the importance of the right amount of supplementation is established. Lastly, a discussion is held to identify potential socioeconomic factors that indicate that this shift is brought about by economic and social incentives.

Type

Review

Volume(issue)

1(2)

Publication date

December 2016

Pages

86 - 90

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