Healthy Pregnancies and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Pregnant? Anticipating the birth of a beautiful new baby? Boy or girl, it does not matter, because both need omega-3 fatty acids for the normal development of the brain and eye. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is concentrated in the brain and the eye. Because much of the brain and visual systems develop in the last trimester of pregnancy, maternal DHA intake is especially important during this time.
Jia and colleagues estimated omega-3 intake in 600 women living in Alberta, Canada. Dietary intake was measured during each trimester of pregnancy and at 3 month postpartum. Only ¼ of women were consuming recommended amounts of DHA. Women who reported using omega-3 supplements were 10-11 times more likely to meet European consensus requirements for pregnancy (200 mg DHA daily).
These findings are not unique to women living in Canada. Women living in Europe and the US are consuming less than recommended amounts of DHA. Salmon and fatty fish are just not that frequently consumed, partly because of concerns about mercury content.
There are independent third-party organizations which test and certify fish oil supplements. Organizations such as GOEDOmega3.com require their members to commit to the highest manufacturing and quality standards. Fish and algal oils are a safe, efficacious means to obtain omega-3 fatty acids, essential for health.
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