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Omega-3 Fatty Acids Key to Fetal Development - Possible Mercury Contamination Concerns in Some Fish Oil Avoided With Plant-based DHA in PreNexa(R) Prenatal Vitamins
Date:6/25/2009

MAPLE GROVE, Minn., June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading experts specifically recommend Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as a key omega-3 fatty acid for prenatal development(1, 2, 3). DHA, derived from plants or fish, is consumed in the form of food or nutritional supplements. However, there is increasing discussion about the risk of mercury contamination and fish allergies in association with some fish-based DHA. The plant-based DHA found in PreNexa(R) prenatal vitamins offers mothers-to-be a "next generation" option to support optimum health and development for themselves and their baby.

"Plant-based DHA, like that in PreNexa(R), does not contain fish oil. Since the DHA in PreNexa(R) is derived directly from a plant source, concerns about ocean-borne contaminants or toxins, such as mercury, which may be associated with fish-based DHA, can be avoided," said Mary Harris, M.S., Ph.D., registered dietitian and professor of food science and human nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo. "PreNexa(R) is a valuable option for health professionals and mothers-to-be."

DHA is a long-chain, polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid found in all organs of the body(2). It is a major structural fat in the brain and retina of the eye, representing up to 97 percent of the omega-3 fatty acids in the brain and up to 93 percent of the omega-3 fatty acids in the eye(4, 5). It is also naturally found in breast milk(1). Developing infants cannot efficiently produce their own DHA, so they must obtain this vital nutrient through the placenta during pregnancy or from an outside source such as breast milk after birth(6). The result is that mothers continuously lose their omega-3 fatty acid stores during pregnancy(7). Since many women do not consume the amount of DHA recommended by experts in diet alone, a prescription prenatal vitamin with DHA can help satisfy the daily needs of a mother and her baby.


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SOURCE Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.
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