The Benefits of Fish Oil For Pregnant Women

The Benefits of Fish Oil For Pregnant Women

Hi Mommy, Welcome to PregnancyMommy. This time we will discuss about The Benefits of Fish Oil For Pregnant Women, hopefully the article we wrote can be useful for Mommy.

Recommendations concerning fish oil for pregnant women vary greatly. It is always best to follow your own doctor's advice, but the information in this article may give you something to discuss at your next visit.

It is known that omega-3 fatty acids are critical for normal brain and neurological development. It seems that they are important in the timing of gestation and in birth weight, as well.

Studies in the US and in Canada indicate that most non-pregnant women get less than the recommended daily intake of total omega-3s, which is currently set at 1100mg per day for adult women. Official recommendations for the individual fatty acids have never been published.

During pregnancy, only two servings of seafood per week are recommended, because of the risk of excessive mercury intake. Since seafood is the primary dietary source of omega-3s known as Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), a woman cannot possibly reach the daily goal recommended by some researchers (650mg per day) without supplementation.

ALA or alpha-linolenic acid is an omega-3 found in vegetable oils. A tablespoon of canola oil, for example, provides 1400mg, which is sufficient.


Those oils do not contain DHA or EPA. That's why research groups have begun recommending fish oil for pregnant women. If a woman is vegan, she can obtain DHA from a marine algae supplement. That is the only vegan source of the nutrient.

Some people wonder how a single food-type could be so important to human health. There are several different theories. But, the most logical is that fish and wild game were the primary protein sources for early man. Wild game may have been sources of DHA and EPA, too.

In addition to recommending fish oil for pregnant women, researchers advise reduced intake of corn oil and other foods that are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Not all labels reveal the content of specific fatty acids. So, you may have to do a little detective work to find out where the omega-6s are in your diet.

Food manufacturers are now required to list the amount of trans-fatty acids, saturated fat and unsaturated fat. Both omega-6s and omega-3's are unsaturated. Most nuts and olives are rich in omega-3s, low in omega-6s. Beef, chicken and other meats contains some of each, but the content varies greatly. If you aim to reduce the total fat in your diet, you will inevitably lower your intake of omega-6s.

The best fish oil for pregnant women is one that is rich in DHA. Some of the better brands provide 280mg per capsule. The omega-6 content should, of course, be low. In the better brands, less than 4% of the total fat is omega-6 fat. In some brands that percentage is quite a bit higher.

If you stick with the two servings of seafood per week, you will get an average of 50-100mg of DHA per day. Researchers suggest a minimum of 300mg per day, which means one or two capsules of fish oil for pregnant women. See if your doctor agrees.

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