Martek's DHA Used to Enrich Eggs for Research
COLUMBIA, Md., March 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Martek Biosciences Corporation (Nasdaq: MATK) today commented on the results of a study published in the March 2003 edition of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. Data from the study demonstrated that expectant mothers who increased their dietary intake of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) during the last trimester of pregnancy through DHA enriched eggs had an increased length of gestation. Martek produced the DHA used to enrich the eggs.
In a randomized, double-blind trial using the DHA enriched eggs, researchers determined that gestation increased by 6 days in the high-DHA egg (133mg DHA per egg) group compared to the ordinary egg (33mg DHA per egg) group. The study included 291 subjects and the study findings also showed a trend for higher birth weight, length and head circumference with intake of the high-DHA eggs, although the trend did not result in statistical significance. This research helped secure USDA funding to further explore the role of DHA in gestation in a larger study which is using Martek's DHA oil. The study is being conducted at Denver Health Hospital, through a grant awarded to Colorado State University.
"We are encouraged that the data demonstrated an important improvement regarding the length of gestation as well as positive effects on birth weight, length and head circumference despite the modest increase in prenatal DHA intake effected by consuming high-DHA eggs," stated the study's principal investigator, Susan E. Carlson, Ph.D., a Professor in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas. "These data suggest that increasing DHA intake among pregnant women may have great potential in optimizing pregnancy outcomes and the developmental outcomes of their infants as well."
In collaboration with John Colombo, Ph.D., a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas and his group, Carlson has also studied development in a subset of infants born to women in the pregnancy study. Infants born to women whose blood DHA level was above the median had an accelerated developmental course for attention in infancy compared to infants of mothers whose blood DHA level was below the median. The infant data will be presented at the Society for Research in Child Development in April of this year.
"This evidence further validates DHA as a critical nutrient impacting infant growth and development," said Henry "Pete" Linsert, Jr., Martek Chairman and CEO. "The potential benefits of increasing gestation length are significant."
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 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.