Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is especially prevalent in the central nervous system. In fact, it’s the most abundant fat in both the brain and the retina (making up 97% and 93% of total omega-3 content, respectively) and has several key roles in both cognitive and visual function.*
DHA accumulation in the brain begins in utero during the second half of gestation and remains crucial for neurodevelopment through the first couple years of life.* This, of course, assumes the omega-3 fat DHA is available in utero from the mother’s nutritional inputs.
Infants cannot synthesize meaningful quantities of omega-3 fats from omega-6 fatty acids. Both types of fats are therefore critical to receive from breast milk or a fortified infant formula. These healthy fat inputs are vital, as normal and optimal infant vision and brain development rely on sufficient DHA levels.*
In a meta-analysis published in The Journal of Nutrition, omega-3 supplementation was shown to improve visual acuity in both preterm and term infants, indicating omega-3 supplements (especially those with servings of DHA) can be a powerful and effective way to support vision development during several stages of infancy.*
Evidence shows that omega-3s are an important nutrient for development in not only fetal and infant development, but throughout childhood as well.*