Dr J. Thomas Brenna is Professor of Human Nutrition in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. He is also a member of Cornell’s graduate faculties of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, of Food Science & Technology and of Geological Sciences, and is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Community & Preventative Medicine at the University of Rochester (NY) Medical College. His research group focuses on study of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) nutrition in the perinatal period, and their role in neural and retinal development. The US Federal Government National Institutes of Health has supported his research continuously since 1991.
- More Seafood for Brighter, Happier Kids: Part 1
Our intake of Omega-3 fatty acids has dropped over the decades … and we think there is a relationship between that and chronic diseases we see in populations.
DHA (an Omega-3 oil most abundantly found in fish and other seafoods) accumulates in the brain, starting at about six months of gestation. It rises sharply in the last one-third of gestation. It continues to rise until about 18 years of age. That is a remarkable kind of increase that is not well appreciated.
The immediate solution is to increase the amount of DHA in diets in order to support the increase in DHA required in the brain.
- More Seafood for Brighter, Happier Kids: Part 2
Quite a few studies … indicate fish consumption during pregnancy -- and, by implication, before and after pregnancy as well -- has almost nothing but positive benefits for offspring, and more fish seems to be much better.
There are some cultures that consume many times more fish (than recommended by the US Food & Drug Administration) and there is no evidence of harm; in fact, quite the opposite: the kids are bright, happy, live long lives, and so on.