LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Do certain vitamin supplements and breastfeeding make babies smarter?
Docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, is often included in prenatal vitamins and has been said to help make babies smarter. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that is a primary structural component of the human brain, cerebral cortex, skin and retina.
Researchers in Australia recently studied the affects of DHA. They had one group of expectant mothers take 800 milligrams of DHA daily; another group was given a placebo.
The mothers' children were evaluated when they were 18 months old. The results were no different for cognitive, language and motor development between the two groups.
The study also found more behavior problems in children whose mothers took DHA.
MORE HEALTH HEADLINES FROM WAVE3.COM
+ Infant mortality rate hits new low for white women, remains high for black women
+ Study: fruits and vegetables linked to lower stress levels
+ Study finds vitamin D curbs illness
When it comes to breastfeeding, many doctors preach the importance of what some moms call "liquid gold."
Researchers in Ireland studied 8,000 families and found children who were exclusively breastfed for six months were less hyperactive than their peers, but only until three years of age.
There was no link between breastfeeding and children's cognitive abilities.
The CDC recommends mothers nurse their children, if possible, until a year old.