The importance of omega-3 fatty acids to a healthy pregnancy outcome is beyond question. They are fundamental building block for the fetus (particularly for the brain and central nervous system) and vital to mom's health and wellbeing too. Beyond question! But despite these realities science continues to tell us that too many expectant mothers simply aren't getting enough; putting their babies and themselves at needless risk.
A recent study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism clearly highlights the problem. Titled the Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition or APRoN the study was performed by researchers from the University of Alberta (UA). The participants were a group of 600 women of high socioeconomic status. They were evaluated for omega-3 fatty acid intake (specifically EPA, DPA and DHA) during pregnancy and 3 months following delivery. The goal was to assess the impact on mom's nutrient status and mental health and the child's health and development.
The study, led by Catherine Field from UA, found some startling details. Despite being well educated and economically well off, the majority of the mothers failed to omega-3 intake adequacy. In fact 73% failed to attain the 200mg. per day minimum intake threshold for DHA...particularly important to both health and behavioral development in children. Equally concerning, nearly half of the women who were taking an omega-3 supplement during pregnancy stopped doing so during breast feeding...an ongoing period of newborn development where omega-3's are vital.
What's our take away here? Women still need our help understanding the importance of omega-3 fatty acids to healthy pregnancies for them and their babies.
Supplements are a great way to help assure that gets done....but not all omega-3 supplements are alike. This study focused on 3 of the 8 omega-3's involved in human nutrition...EPA, DPA and DHA. If the product does not specifically name and quantify all...especially EPA, DPA and DHA...they may well not be getting all the omega-3 nutrition they or their babies need.
From my perspective and insight, the best and simplest solution to that challenge is NeoLife (GNLD) Omega-3 Salmon Oil Plus. The finest, clinically proven, omega-3 supplement with all 8 omega-3's ... just as Nature intended.
I've included the abstract and a link to the study below for all who may be interested.
Spread the word...and most of all....Be well...
Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism,
Published on the web 25 March 2015.
The aim of the current study was to estimate total intake and dietary sources of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentanoic (DPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and compare DHA intakes with the recommended intakes in a cohort of pregnant and lactating women. Twenty-four–hour dietary recalls and supplement intake questionnaires were collected from 600 women in the Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition (APrON) cohort at each trimester of pregnancy and 3 months postpartum. Dietary intake was estimated in 2 ways: by using a commercial software program and by using a database created for APrON. Only 27% of women during pregnancy and 25% at 3 months postpartum met the current European Union (EU) consensus recommendation for DHA. Seafood, fish, and seaweed products contributed to 79% of overall n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids intake from foods, with the majority from salmon. The estimated intake of DHA and EPA was similar between databases, but the estimated DPA intake was 20%–30% higher using the comprehensive database built for this study. Women who took a supplement containing DHA were 10.6 and 11.1 times more likely to meet the current EU consensus recommendation for pregnancy (95% confidence interval (CI): 6.952–16.07; P < 0.001) and postpartum (95% CI: 6.803–18.14; P < 0.001), respectively. Our results suggest that the majority of women in the cohort were not meeting the EU recommendation for DHA during pregnancy and lactation, but taking a supplement significantly improved the likelihood that they would meet recommendations.