February 3, 2006
NIH Researcher Reports Omega-3 Fatty Acids—Such As Those In Animi-3 Rx—Are Essential For Mothers To Positively Impact Mental And Social Development Of Their Children
GORDONSVILLE, VA — A new study by NIH researcher Joseph Hibbeln has found that omega-3 fatty acids taken by pregnant women have a discernible positive effect on the mental and social development of their children. The study, presented by Dr. Hibbeln in London, was recently featured in The Economist.
“We are delighted to see such high-powered research to support what makes Animi-3 such a necessary tool for mothers looking to provide their children with the very best building blocks for healthy and successful lives,” said Jack Schramm, EVP of PBM Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “Animi-3 provides doctors with a means of addressing probable deficiencies that are apparent in the American diet.”
Dr. Hibbeln analyzed data collected in the 15-year Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. The study contains data on 14,000 pregnant women and their children. Three findings highlight the importance of omega-3s in the pregnant diet and the resulting impact on children:
Children of pregnant women whose diets had included the smallest amounts of omega-3s had verbal IQs six points lower than average. At three-and-a-half years of age, children of pregnant women whose diets had included the highest amounts of omega-3s had the best measurements of fine-motor performance. Children of pregnant women whose diets had included the smallest amounts of omega-3s had greater difficulty making friends as they grew older.
“In a study performed at Weill Cornell, we found dietary consumption of omega-3 fatty acids among American pregnant women across socioeconomic groups was extremely low,” said Dr. Barbara Levine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University. “As Dr. Hibbeln points out, warnings about seafood methyl mercury contamination have amplified the problem, which is why it is crucial to supplement the diet with sources of omega-3s that are highly refined so that children get what they need from their mothers.”
Dr. Levine is an expert on nutritional interactions between genetics and the prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, as well as the optimal diet for cognitive function and visual acuity in young children.
Maintaining ideal nutritional levels throughout pregnancy is crucial to ensuring that mothers and their infants are as healthy as possible. Pregnant women who eat a healthy diet containing adequate levels of folic acid may reduce their risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord defect, which, Dr. Levine said, is an added benefit to a dietary regimen that includes Animi-3.
PBM Pharmaceuticals (www.pbmpharmaceuticals.com), the maker of Animi-3, is currently conducting a clinical trial on Animi-3 for cardiovascular risk reduction and cognition with leading heart disease specialist Ernst J. Schaefer, M.D., of Cardiovascular Research Associates, in Boston, MA. Dr. Schaefer is also a Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine.