Paper on prenatal supplementation published in world-renowned journal

Professor Peter J Anderson has had his first paper published since joining MICCN, just one month ago! Adding to his achievement, the paper was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) - one of the world’s top journals.

Professor Anderson’s colleagues in Adelaide carried out a randomised trial of prenatal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation, where pregnant women received either 800mg of DHA or a placebo daily, during the last half of pregnancy. (For those unfamiliar with DHA, it is an omega-3 fatty acid that is a primary structural component of the human brain, cerebral cortex, skin, and retina). To study the long-term benefit of this intervention, children have been assessed at 18 months, 4 years and 7 years, on tests of cognitive functioning and behaviour.

Despite claims that DHA supports brain development resulting in improved cognitive functioning, the team found no benefit of prenatal DHA supplementation on children’s cognition at 18 months, 4 years, and 7 years. Furthermore, no intervention benefits were observed in language, executive functioning or academic abilities.

Despite there being little evidence of benefit to offspring neurodevelopment, the sale of prenatal supplements containing DHA continues to increase.

Read the full paper on the JAMA website.

For more information on Professor Anderson’s research, contact him on 03 9905 2251, e:

About JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association – JAMA - is a peer-reviewed medical journal published 48 times a year by the American Medical Association.

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