DHA saves the kids colds

August 1, 2011 2:20:16 PM PDT
The heat may be on our minds recently, but children's colds, yes colds, are on the minds and research pages of a pediatric journal.

A new study out on Monday, has found one way to cut down on colds in infants.

The fewer runny noses any child has, the better it is for everyone.

This new report says there's something mom can do before the baby's even born that may help.

It's a common supplement in use now- DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) or sometimes also called fish oil capsules.

This new research suggests that the supplement arms babies with cold fighting powers while they're still in the womb. And that means fewer colds early in life.

Here's what the researchers did. They took over 800 pregnant women and gave half of them 400 milligrams of DHA daily from the second trimester to the end of the pregnancy.

The other half got a placebo or a sugar pill.

Then for the next 6 months after the babies were born, the researchers regularly got reports from "all" the moms about their babies health.

"They found, after they observed the babies for about 6 months, that the babies of the mothers who got their DHA supplements were healthier than the babies that didn't get it," said Dr. Elisa Ross, from the Cleveland Clinic.

Those babies had fewer cold symptoms, less coughing, phlegm and wheezing. There was also less time with fever in the babies and less difficulty breathing.

Many moms are already familiar with DHA. And this nutritionist mom said she took it during both her pregnancies.

"I think that it has a positive effect on pregnancy and overall if you want to have a healthy life," said mom, Monica Rouzar.

DHA is a fatty acid that's naturally found in the membranes of cells, especially in the brain and the nervous system.

Many obstricians already recommend fish oil supplements for fetal brain development.

DHA supplements are also getting a lot of play for their claims on boosting brain power in kids.

But the very few studies done on this have had mixed results.

Some say they may help, but parents would be warned that nutritional supplements are not regulated by the FDA.