June 5, 2019, Sioux Falls, SD: OmegaQuant is honored to have won the Nutraingredients-USA Award for its “Prenatal DHA Initiative,” which was presented June 3rd in conjunction with the IFT Show in New Orleans, LA. OmegaQuant was one of three finalists in the “Personalized Nutrition” category.
The Prenatal DHA Initiative was formed to bring more awareness to the importance of DHA intake, as well as knowing DHA status, among pregnant women and women who want to become pregnant. It was launched in February alongside the Prenatal DHA Test, which was invented by OmegaQuant and is currently patent-pending.
The Prenatal DHA Initiative involves a series of partnerships with health practitioners, brands, and organizations that can help educate the public and clinical community about the benefits of DHA in the diet, and specifically its ability to reduce the risk of preterm birth.
According to NutraIngredients-USA, the judges were impressed by the application of omega-3 testing to an especially sensitive population, to not only shine a light on the technology but also on the critical issue of DHA intake during pregnancy and how to increase those levels.
Stephen Daniells, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of NutraIngredients-USA, commented: “Omega-3 status during pregnancy is a hugely important issue that has significant implications for mother and child, and our judges were impressed by the technology and the potential public health benefits of this initiative. This was a very competitive category, with three very strong finalists, so congratulations to the OmegaQuant team on the Prenatal DHA Initiative.”
“Most American women don’t get enough DHA before or during pregnancy, so the Prenatal DHA Test can help personalize the issue and motivate women to get more DHA in their diet,” said Kristina Harris Jackson, PhD, RD, who invented the Prenatal DHA Test, alongside longtime omega-3 researcher William S. Harris, PhD.
Late last year, Drs. Jackson and Harris published a paper in the December edition of Nutrients that, for the first time, proposed an omega-3 DHA target blood level of 5% or higher for pregnant women, primarily based on research showing higher blood DHA levels and intakes reduces risk for early preterm birth. In this paper they also discuss the ramifications of low DHA levels among pregnant women and why they need to strive for a DHA level of 5% or above.
According to Drs. Jackson and Harris, ~70% of women of childbearing age in the US are likely below the DHA cut-point of 5%, and dietary intake data suggest that this group, including pregnant women, consumes just ~60 mg of DHA per day. Most experts recommend a minimum of 200 mg of DHA from fatty fish like salmon or an omega-3 supplement that contains DHA.
“Our ultimate goal is to help make pregnancy safer for women and their babies, which is why we want to bring more awareness to the importance of getting more DHA in the diet and using a Prenatal DHA Test to guide appropriate intake,” Dr. Jackson said.