Mission Pharmacal Company Introduces New Citracal(R) Prenatal + DHA

SAN ANTONIO, March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Mission Pharmacal Company, makers of Citracal® brand of calcium citrate supplements and prenatal vitamins, announced today the introduction of prescription Citracal® Prenatal + DHA to their prenatal vitamin product line. The Citracal® prenatal pack contains a balanced daily dose of prescription-strength vitamins and minerals in a tablet and a 250 mg capsule of Martek DHA(TM), a plant-derived essential omega-3 fatty acid. Citracal® Prenatal + DHA improves the nutritional status of women prior to conception, throughout pregnancy and in the postnatal period for both lactating and non-lactating mothers. The need for prenatal vitamins is well-established, but DHA is a relatively new ingredient recommended by physicians for optimal maternal and fetal nutrition.

DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid present in the human body, and research indicates that supplementing the diet of pregnant women may have significant developmental benefits to mother and child. DHA improves brain, nerve and eye tissue development in infants and is found naturally in breast milk. The dietary intake of DHA by American women is only 20-30 percent of the 300 milligrams per day recommend by NIH / ISSFAL* for pregnant and nursing women. In 2001, the FDA accepted Martek DHA(TM) for inclusion in baby formula, and since that approval, it is currently included in 80 percent of infant formulas sold in the United States.

"DHA is found in fish, but with the threat of mercury contamination, the safest route for DHA supplementation is a non-fish source such as Citracal Prenatal + DHA," says Dr. David Perlmutter, neurologist and author of The Better Brain Book and soon to be published Raise a Smarter Child by Kindergarten. "This plant-derived DHA helps nurture healthy visual and neurological development and avoids the risks associated with eating deep sea fish during pregnancy."

Studies have shown that maternal DHA is beneficial to the baby's health. Increased availability of DHA during pregnancy and lactation nourishes the baby's neurological, visual and nervous system development. Researchers have found that the mental processing scores of children at age four correlated positively with maternal DHA intake during pregnancy. Additionally, researchers determined that maternal DHA supplementation during pregnancy increased the length of gestation, bringing the pregnancy closer to full term, which allowed for increased fetal development.

DHA is found primarily in tuna, salmon and deep-water fish, and in some algae. Many pregnant women are cautioned against consuming large quantities of deep-water fish during pregnancy because of the potentially high levels of mercury found in these fish. Citracal® Prenatal + DHA uses Martek DHA(TM) derived from algae, which is a vegetarian source. It is not genetically modified and is grown under tightly controlled conditions for use in infant formula, dietary supplements and foods. This plant-derived form of DHA is generally considered to be the most healthful and efficiently utilized form for human consumption.

Citracal® Prenatal + DHA is marketed by Mission Pharmacal Company based in San Antonio. The plant-derived DHA is produced exclusively by Martek Biosciences Corporation (Nasdaq: MATK - News) based in Columbia, MD. Martek DHA(TM) is the only DHA accepted for use in infant formula by the FDA.

Mission is supporting new Citracal® Prenatal + DHA with advertising, product sampling and doctor detailing.

About Mission Pharmacal Company

Mission Pharmacal Company, the makers of Citracal® brand of calcium citrate supplements and Citracal® Prenatal + DHA, is a family-owned pharmaceutical company based in San Antonio. Since the Surgeon General's warning on osteoporosis one year ago, Mission Pharmacal Company has expanded its efforts to educate consumers about actions they can take to avoid osteoporosis, a disease that disproportionately affects women. As a continuation of its endeavors to provide an effective framework of support for women, the company also recently created the Web site, http://www.standstrong.com. To learn more about the Citracal® family of products log onto http://www.citracal.com.

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