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Martek, March of Dimes Partner to Promote Importance of DHA

DHA Omega-3 Fatty Acids are Essential to Health of Pregnant Women and Babies, March of Dimes Says

COLUMBIA, Md., April 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Martek Biosciences Corporation (Nasdaq: MATK), announced today that it is partnering with March of Dimes, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health, to promote the importance of DHA during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Pregnant women and nursing mothers can now learn more about the important role of DHA omega-3 fatty acids in their own health and that of their babies in new educational materials from the March of Dimes.

The March of Dimes suggests that pregnant women consume at least 200 milligrams of DHA, one of the three major omega-3 fatty acids, every day to help support fetal brain and eye development. After the baby is born, DHA omega-3 fatty acids consumed through breastfeeding may also help support mental, visual, and motor skill development, the March of Dimes says.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in certain types of fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. However, DHA is present naturally in specific fatty fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and tuna, as well as algal oil, organ meats and breast milk. Pregnant or nursing women or those planning a pregnancy should eat up to 12 ounces of low-mercury content fish per week and avoid high-mercury content fish, the March of Dimes advises. Guidelines on safe fish consumption are available on the March of Dimes Web site at:

For women who are vegetarians, or who have safety concerns about fish, foods fortified with DHA or a multivitamin or supplement containing at least 200 milligrams of DHA are good choices.

More information on the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for moms and babies can be found at

The new March of Dimes awareness effort is supported by a three-year agreement with Martek Biosciences Corporation.

"We're pleased to support the March of Dimes in their efforts to raise awareness of DHA-omega-3 fatty acids as part of a program to support healthy pregnancies and healthy babies," said Steve Dubin, Martek CEO.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. Its mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit or

DHA omega-3 is a long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid that serves as a primary building block for the brain and eyes and supports brain, eye and cardiovascular health throughout life. Studies have shown that increased availability of DHA omega-3 during pregnancy and lactation nourishes the neurological, visual and nervous system development of babies and may play an important role in long-term infant heart health and maternal well-being. Yet despite its importance, Americans have among the lowest dietary intakes of DHA omega-3 in the world. Additionally, expert bodies such as the FDA have advised pregnant and nursing women to limit their consumption of certain fatty fish that are a major dietary source of DHA, due to the potentially high levels of contaminants such as mercury found in such fish.

The March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. The March of Dimes carries out this mission through programs of research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies' lives. March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health: prematurity, birth defects, low birth weight. For more information, please visit

Martek Biosciences Corporation (Nasdaq: MATK) is a leader in the innovation and development of DHA omega-3 products that promote health and wellness through every stage of life. The company produces life'sDHA, a sustainable and vegetarian source of DHA omega-3, for use in foods, beverages, infant formula, and supplements, and life'sARA(TM) (arachidonic acid), an omega-6 fatty acid, for use in infant formula. For more information on Martek Biosciences, visit For a complete list of life'sDHA products, visit

The March of Dimes Foundation does not endorse specific brands or products.

Sections of this release contain forward-looking statements. These statements are based upon numerous assumptions which Martek cannot control and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ. These statements should be understood in light of the risk factors set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, the company's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2008 and other filed reports on Form 10-K, Form 10-K/A, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.

    Cassie France-Kelly
    Public Relations, Martek
    (443) 542-2116

    Kyle Stults
    Investor Relations, Martek
    (410) 740-0081

SOURCE Martek Biosciences Corporation
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