Diagnostic solutions provider, LifeCell, has launched a diagnostic test called Omega Score.
The OmegaScore-Prenatal and OmegaScore-Newborn test has been specially designed for Indian pregnant women as well as mothers respectively to determine the concentration of a critical omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, also known as docosahexaenoic acid.
This fatty acid has been proven to be essential for the overall health and cognitive development of a child, LifeCell said. DHA is particularly vital for the development of the brain and retina of the fetus during the third trimester till 18 months of the baby’s life.
However, according to suggested reports, DHA intake in Indian pregnant women in the third trimester is the lowest when compared to pregnant women in other developing countries. LifeCell’s Omega Score provides a convenient way to carry out an in-depth analysis to quantify DHA levels that give the baby the necessary health boost essential for their rapidly developing brain, the company added.
Critical in vision and cognitive development, DHA accounts for 97% of omega-3 fatty acids found in the brain. Experts further underscore the importance of DHA in pregnancy as research has shown that DHA intake can prevent preterm birth, lowers the risk of preeclampsia, and also ensures a healthy birth weight.
Our body cannot manufacture DHA and it has to be obtained through a DHA-rich diet. DHA is primarily found in fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, and anchovies. Since a large population in India follows a vegetarian diet, Indian mothers and pregnant women have been found to be deficient in DHA.
LifeCell International MD Mayur Abhaya said, “It is important that Indian women have access to quality healthcare because the health of the children today, determines the future health of our society.”
“With the launch of Omega Score, we not only hope to raise awareness about the importance of DHA in maternal nutrition but also to encourage a proactive rather than reactive approach towards maintaining their own and their baby’s health,” Abhaya added.