You may have heard that consuming omega-3s, particularly DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), during pregnancy is essential for proper fetal brain/ cognitive development, mental health as well as lowering the risk of postpartum depression. What you may not know is that DHA is also important for visual development.
Researchers in Quebec, Canada, studied the effects of maternal omega-3 intake and concluded that higher fetal exposure to DHA enhanced children’s visual function up to 13 years later. The findings suggested that the effect was specific to parvocellular function, which affects visual acuity and color processing.
DHA is highly concentrated in the photoreceptor membranes of the retina, and an insufficient intake of DHA results in impaired visual function, at least in short-term visual acuity in the first 6 months of life. There is also growing evidence that adequate DHA may reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration later in life.
SOURCE: PUFA Newsletter, www.fatsoflife.com