DHA, docosahexaenoic acid, is the only omega-3 that supports brain, eye and heart health throughout all stages of life. According to our market research, consumers who are aware of the health benefits associated with DHA omega-3 demand it.
The increased recognition of the importance of DHA in the diet, coupled with its limited availability in natural food sources, makes fortifying foods with DHA a great solution. Fish-free and derived from algae grown in a controlled environment, life'sDHA is the ideal choice. Because it is from algae, life’sDHA is a sustainable, vegetarian alternative to fish oil naturally free of ocean-borne contaminants, such as mercury or PCBs.
And, while there is a ready-made market of parents who know DHA is important for their children’s brain and eye development, there is also a growing number of adults who are looking for ways to keep their aging brains healthy. Food fortified with DHA is an effective way for adults to get the DHA that may currently be lacking in their diets.
No one is more aware of the important health benefits DHA can provide than a parent. Doctors recommend DHA during pregnancy because of the important health benefits it provides to the mother and the developing infant. Upon birth, parents continue to seek out infant nutrition products and baby foods containing DHA to continue to support the rapid growth and development of their baby. As they continue to learn more about it, the parents realize that it can continue to provide important brain, eye and heart benefits not only for their baby, but for everyone in the family.
It is because of this cycle that awareness of DHA (and life’sDHA) continues to rise, especially among parents with young children. DHA has been a staple in infant nutrition products since 2002 – and since then more and more companies have launched family-focused products containing life’sDHA. While there is an existing market of parents who recognize the importance of DHA for their children’s brain and eye development, there is also a growing number of adults who have recognized that DHA can help keep their aging brains, eyes and hearts healthy as well.
The awareness of the important health benefits of DHA isn’t limited to the United States. As international agencies continue to recognize the importance of DHA, they are continuing to develop intake recommendations for it. Throughout the world – whether the United States, Europe, Asia or Latin America – while general omega-3 awareness is almost universal, DHA awareness is building momentum due to an increasing number of infant nutrition products, foods and supplements fortified with DHA coming to market.
Maternal nutrition before, during and after pregnancy plays an important role in fetal and infant development, as well as in maternal well-being. Docosahexaenoic acid, DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found throughout the body, supports optimal fetal and infant brain, eye and nervous system development. Because developing infants cannot efficiently produce their own DHA, they must obtain this vital nutrient through the placenta during pregnancy and from breast milk after birth. Maternal DHA supplementation during pregnancy and nursing significantly enhances the level of DHA available to the fetus and infant and may subsequently improve developmental outcomes. DHA has also been shown to play a part in maternal well-being.
Based on the growing data supporting the importance of DHA in the maternal diet, dietary recommendations for maternal DHA intake have emerged. Unfortunately, the typical diet among women of childbearing age is consistently low in DHA, due, in large part, to limited dietary sources.
Increasing recognition of the importance of DHA during pregnancy and nursing and its limited availability in the typical American diet is paving the way for perinatal products fortified with DHA. Mothers want to provide the best for their developing infants and are looking for food products specifically designed to meet their need for important perinatal nutrients, including DHA.
DHA is a major structural component of the brain and eyes and is important for optimal infant brain, eye and nervous system development. In fact, DHA represents up to 97% of the omega-3 fatty acids in the brain and up to 93% of the omega-3 fatty acids in the retina.
Maternal DHA supplementation during pregnancy and nursing significantly enhances the level of DHA available to the fetus and infant. The body of research supporting the importance of DHA for pregnant and nursing women and their developing infants continues to grow.
life'sDHA is an important prenatal nutrient that is ideal for inclusion in products targeting pregnant and nursing women. Currently, life'sDHA has been successfully added to prenatal products in the following categories:
DHA and ARA have been associated with a range of benefits in infant health. Expert bodies such as the World Health Organization1; ANSES 20112, and ESPGHAN 20053, have recognized the importance of DHA and ARA in the infant diet and support their inclusion in infant nutrition products.
Infant nutrition companies have been using life’sDHA® and/or life’sARA™ since 1994. Infant nutrition products containing life'sDHA® and/or life'sARA™ have seen great success in markets worldwide. The growth in availability of products with DHA and ARA is being driven by consumer awareness of the health benefits associated with DHA and ARA in the infant diet.
Breastmilk is the nutritional gold standard for feeding infants in early life. DHA and ARA are always present in mother’s milk, even when a mother’s nutritional status is poor, indicating their biological importance during a rapid period of brain growth and development. The science on DHA and ARA in early programming continues to grow, studies have shown that:
It is estimated that over 180 million infants globally have been nourished by life’sDHA® and/or life’sARA™ since 1994.
While it has been shown that DHA is important for health and development, it’s difficult for most people to get enough through diet alone. Traditional sources of DHA include fatty fish or organ meats, which are not staples in the Western diet.
Fortunately, there is now another source available that can be readily added to many foods and beverages – algae. As the interest in improving health through nutrition continues to grow, and research continues to demonstrate just how important DHA is to our health, the demand for foods and beverages fortified with DHA will continue to increase. Now is the time to capitalize on this DHA marketing opportunity.
life'sDHA has been successfully incorporated into a variety of applications and will provide product differentiation and added value in numerous food categories, including:
life'sDHA remains stable when subject to thermal processing conditions such as:
While it has been shown that DHA is important for health and development, it’s difficult for most people to consume enough through diet alone. This is because the primary dietary sources of DHA are limited to organ meat and fatty fish. Fortunately, as the interest in improving health through nutrition continues to grow, and research continues to demonstrate just how important DHA is to our health, the demand for DHA supplements with DHA will continue to increase.
There is a growing number of adults who are looking for ways to help keep their brains aging healthy. In 2012, there were more than 79 million Americans over the age of 55. Supplements containing DHA, an important brain fat, is an easy and effective way for adults to get the DHA that may be missing in their diets.
Nelson Dellis, 4-time USA Memory Champion and adventure sport athlete, shares what a typical day looks like for this athlete. Nutrition is an important part of his daily routine and his training program. Brain Armor with life’sOMEGA vegetarian DHA and EPA omega-3s help to support his journey. Read More
A nutritious diet is essential for every mother-to-be as nutritional deficiencies are common during pregnancy, but for the vegetarian mamma, it is even more important. Learn about four key nutrients for a healthy vegetarian pregnancy from award-winning dietitian Melanie McGrice, AdvAPD. Read More
Although a vegetarian diet tends to be more protective against heart disease compared to a traditional Western diet, some risk factors for heart disease are increased. So, as a vegetarian, it’s still essential to consider your heart health. Read More
Many mothers are caring for more people than just their children, they’re also caring for their parents who need to maintain healthy habits throughout the second half of their lives. If you’re a caregiver, read on to learn how an important nutrient – omega-3s – can help support your loved ones’ health. Read More