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life’sDHA: A Vegetarian Source of DHA

life’sDHA, a Sustainable, Vegetarian DHA Omega-3

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. 

life'sDHA Adds Marketing Value

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.

Why life'sDHA

  • life’sDHA is from algae, a natural, sustainable vegetarian source.
  • Sustainable and fish-free.
  • DHA is the only omega-3 shown to provide brain, eye and heart health benefits.
  • Millions of new moms have purchased infant nutrition products containing life'sDHA and are familiar with its benefits in brain and eye development.
  • Concentrated DHA rich oil, with less oil needed to reach optimal level of fortification.
  • Produced from start to finish in a controlled environment using a patented process in an FDA-inspected facility under cGMP regulations.
  • Numerous application solutions and experienced technical support allows for more successful product formulation.
  • Will not compromise the finished product’s sensory qualities.
  • life'sDHA is from a non-GMO source and is considered both Kosher and Halal.
  • Available throughout countries worldwide.

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.

DHA Pregnancy Benefits

It All Starts with a Baby

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.

Prenatal Nutrition

DHA for Pregnant and Nursing Women

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.

Importance of DHA During Pregnancy and While Nursing

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.

Applications and Expertise

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:

  • Prescription prenatal supplements co-packaged with DHA capsules
  • Dietary supplement DHA capsules
  • Foods & Beverages

Pediatric Nutrition

DHA and ARA for Infant Nutrition

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. 

Benefits of DHA and ARA for Infants

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: 

  • DHA plays an important role in visual and neural function6
  • ARA supports immune function7, brain growth and function8, physical growth and development9 and a healthy gastrointestinal system10
  • While ARA and DHA have discreetly different functions, their metabolism and functional activity are intertwined, with health benefits best characterized together

Infant Formula

It is estimated that over 180 million infants globally have been nourished by life’sDHA® and/or life’sARA™ since 1994.

DHA and Food

life’sDHA for Foods and Beverages

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.

Fortify a Wide Range of Foods and Beverages with life'sDHA

life'sDHA has been successfully incorporated into a variety of applications and will provide product differentiation and added value in numerous food categories, including:

  • Dairy Products
  • Beverages
  • Bakery and Confectionary
  • Extrusion Products
  • Spreads and Dressings
  • Processed Meats

life'sDHA remains stable when subject to thermal processing conditions such as:

  • Pasteurization: UHT, HTST, Batch
  • Baking
  • Cooking
  • Retorting: Static, Continuous
  • Extruding/Cooking (Extreme)
  • Drying: Tunnel, Spray, Drum, etc. (Short to Long exposure)
  • Freeze Drying
  • Refrigeration
  • Freezing
  • Mixing/High Shear
  • Fermenting: pH changes

DHA & Omega 3 Supplements

DHA for Dietary Supplements

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.

life'sDHA Adds Value

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.

References

  1. Birch, E.E., et al., A randomized controlled trial of early dietary supply of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and mental development in term infants. Dev Med Child Neurol, 2000. 42(3): p. 174-81.
  2. Birch, E.E., et al., Visual acuity and the essentiality of docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid in the diet of term infants. Pediatr Res, 1998. 44(2): p. 201-9.
  3. Birch, E.E., et al., Visual maturation of term infants fed long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid-supplemented or control formula for 12 mo. Am J Clin Nutr, 2005. 81(4): p. 871-9.
  4. Morale, S.E., et al., Duration of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids availability in the diet and visual acuity. Early Hum Dev, 2005. 81(2): p. 197-203.
  5. Hoffman, D.R., et al., Visual function in breast-fed term infants weaned to formula with or without long-chain polyunsaturates at 4 to 6 months: a randomized clinical trial. J Pediatr, 2003. 142(6): p. 669-77.
  6. FAO, 2010.
  7. Hadley et al, 2017
  8. Harauma et al, 2017
  9. Hadley et al, 2017
  10. Harauma et al, 2017

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