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Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid and functions are an important component of brain tissue. DHA plays a significant role in cerebral development throughout the life cycle, especially during the crucial periods of fetal development and infancy. Pregnant mothers transfer DHA directly to the fetus, via the placenta, to support rapid brain and retina development. During infancy, DHA is also supplied to the newborn via mother’s breast milk and is important for continued cerebral development.
Some people have lower concentrations of DHA due to low-fat or vegetarians diets which may provide inadequate amounts of this fatty acid. Supplementation with DHA can help assure adequate amounts to support normal development of the brain and retina.