photo: YuMaNuMa via Flickr

In recent years DHA was added to prenatal vitamins with the promise that it could influence your developing baby’s brain health. However, new research has debunked that idea, leaving those gigantic horse pills even more unappealing to swallow than before. Read on to learn more about the study’s findings.

From 2010 to 2012, researchers in Australia conducted a clinical trial of 2,399 pregnant women to determine the future effects of DHA. Some of the women received a daily dose of DHA, while others took a placebo capsule that contained vegetable oil. None of the women were aware of which pill they were taking. Flash forward seven years and now the oldest kids of the mothers in the study have turned 7 and can now be given IQ tests.

The test, which has an average score of 100, was given to both the kids whose mother’s took DHA and those who didn’t. The kids in the non-DHA group had an average score of 97.32 and the DHA group had an average score of 98.31. A very minor difference and not significant enough to show any benefit. If anything the results of the study have shown a negative effect associated with DHA supplementation, as the moms of the kids in DHA group reported having more behavioral issues, as well as earning higher scores for executive dysfunction than the placebo group.

Did you take DHA during pregnancy expecting a better outcome? Share your own experience in the comments.