Breastfeeding Mothers Taking Martek's DHA Results in Better Sustained Attention in Children
Data Presented at Pediatric Academic Societies' Meeting
COLUMBIA, Md., May 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Martek Biosciences Corporation (Nasdaq: MATK) announced today that a study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies' Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, showed that five-year-old children whose mothers received a 200mg dose of Martek's docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for the first 4 months of breastfeeding performed better on a test of sustained attention than those whose mothers received a placebo. DHA is an essential fatty acid naturally present in breast milk, and a key building block of the developing infant's brain and visual system. American women's breast milk levels of DHA are among the lowest in the world because of low DHA intake in the diet. Supplementation of DHA during breastfeeding elevates these levels. In the study, conducted by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, 174 mothers received either dietary supplements of DHA or a placebo. Their breastfed children were assessed for several visual and mental functions at 4, 8, 12, 18, 30 and 60 months of age. The researchers report that at 60 months, or 5 years of age, the children whose mothers received DHA for the first 4 months of breastfeeding demonstrated an attention advantage, using the Sustained Attention Subtest of the Leiter International Performance Scale. The same researchers had earlier reported (April 2001) that the children whose mothers received DHA supplementation demonstrated enhanced psychomotor development at 30 months of age. The researchers did not notice similar effects on psychomotor development at 5 years leading them to conclude that the earlier results may reflect more sustained attention rather than better motor function. "These results are the most recent in a series of studies that demonstrate the importance of DHA in the development of infants and children," commented Henry Linsert, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Martek Biosciences Corporation. "Martek supports breastfeeding as the preferred method of infant feeding and encourages women to supply the best nutrition possible to their infants." Martek Biosciences Corporation develops, manufactures and sells products from microalgae. The Company's products include: (1) specialty, nutritional oils for infant formula that aid in the development of the eyes and central nervous system in newborns; (2) nutritional supplements and food ingredients that may play a beneficial role in promoting mental and cardiovascular health throughout life; and (3) new, powerful fluorescent markers for diagnostics, rapid miniaturized screening, and gene and protein detection. This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding the commercialization of Martek's products. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause future actual results to differ due to a variety of risk factors, including without limitation those factors set forth in Martek's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. CONTACT: Pete Buzy, Chief Financial Officer of Martek Biosciences Corporation, +1-410-740-0081.
SOURCE Martek Biosciences Corporation
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