Docosahexaenoic acid, or "DHA," is a nutritional compound (an essential fatty acid, or lipid) that has many effects in the body, including the development of the eyes and brain. Prior to birth, fetuses obtain DHA from their mothers, with DHA primarily accumulating in the brain during the third trimester.
DHA is also found naturally in breast milk and has recently been added to some U.S. commercial infant formulas. Some research indicates this postnatal DHA improves vision and some cognitive functions in infants and toddlers, although the evidence is mixed.
In this study, we measured DHA levels in mothers blood when their infants were born. We then followed those infants for the first two years of their life, evaluating them on different tests of attention during the first and second years.
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