Omega-3s may be important during pregnancy

Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that are naturally present in some foods such as salmon and other oily fish, edamame beans, walnuts and flax. Omega-3s are also commonly added to other foods to enhance their nutritional value (milk, eggs). There are three different types of Omega-3 fatty acids: Alpha-linelenic acid (ALA), Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). DHA is primarily found in fish oil. Omega-3s have been found to have many health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and boosting cardiovascular health.

There is some evidence to suggest Omega 3s may also be beneficial for prenatal health. The results of a study recently published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest that taking Omega-3s during pregnancy may lead to healthier babies and better fetal outcomes. In this study the mothers who took 600 mg of DHA during the last half of their pregnancy had fewer pre-term births and larger babies than women who had not taken the Omega 3 supplement. The researchers did not find evidence of any adverse effects related to taking the DHA.

Says Susan E. Carlson, professor of nutrition at the University of Kansas and lead author on the study, “women should be having a conversation with their doctors about whether they should be taking DHA during pregnancy.” 

Read more about this issue here.

Read the study abstract here.


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