DHA from birth
prevention of allergic diseases
The incidence of allergic diseases is increasing worldwide. Every third child between the ages of 3 and 5 has symptoms of some of the allergic diseases - food allergies, eczema (atopic dermatitis), asthma or allergic rhinitis.
Atopic dermatitis often precedes asthma or allergic rhinitis. While allergic rhinitis occurs earlier in childhood, it can be said that it is a risk factor for asthma, in addition to additional factors – parents who have asthma or other allergic diseases and early exposure to tobacco smoke.
The very fact that we live in the modern world and that our children (just like us) do not live or eat approximately similarly to some past generations, raises various questions for parents regarding the frequency of allergies in children.
Omega-3 fatty acids are very important substances responsible for the proper growth and development of a child.
The ideal ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid intake is 1: 1. Due to the changes in eating habits imposed by industrialization, higher intake of vegetable oils, cereals and meat, there has been a reduced intake of omega-3, which can cause the development of many diseases.
From the time when people were engaged in hunting and fishing and when the ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 intake was 1: 1, through the period in which agriculture dominated (1: 4), we came to the industrial period and the ratio of 1: 20 in favor of omega-6. The reason for that is a modern way of eating that does not provide children with a balanced intake of all nutrients.
Early use of DHA reduces the risk of allergies
In a study that investigated the effect of early nutrition on the occurrence of allergic manifestations and common respiratory diseases, babies were given DHA supplementation from the first week of life. Babies received DHA daily throughout the first year of life.
The study showed that DHA reduced the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections and common allergic diseases, including asthma, compared to babies fed without omega-3 DHA supplementation. Also, babies who received DHA during the first year of life were much less likely to visit a pediatrician due to illness during the first three years of life.
Recommendations of the Association of Pediatricians of Serbia
For newborns and infants who do not receive adequate DHA through breast milk and are exclusively on a natural diet, or are predominantly on a natural diet (mixed diet with over 50% breast milk in total daily milk intake) – a daily supplement of 100 mg DHA is recommended.