Why is DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) important in early brain development?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Because myelin is made up of 80 percent fat and 20 percent protein, healthy fats are important for growing and maintaining a healthy brain. That's why we recommend that moms-to-be take a DHA supplement during pregnancy. DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, comprises over 97 percent of the omega-3 healthy fats in brains. It's also why we recommend breast milk (or infant formula fortified with DHA) until twelve months, followed by whole milk (some brands are fortified with DHA) until at least age two. You should also try to incorporate healthy fats such as avocadoes, olive oil, and DHA-fortified milk into your child's diet from an early age.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.