The benefits of omega-3 cod liver oil are extremely popular. In fact, scientists are now championing its health benefits on unborn bubs too. Does that mean intake of omega-3 is even more important during pregnancy? Read along to find out!
Foliate is extremely important for expectant women, or for women who are planning to get pregnant. This is because it helps reduce baby’s risk of being born with spina bifida or various other kinds of neural tube defects.
A recent research has concluded that omega-3 fatty acids may offer similar valuable health benefits in the development of unborn baby. According to this study, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a specific type of omega 3 fatty acid may help in brain development of babies. Another study reveals that women who regularly consumed omega-3 during pregnancy gave birth to babies with reduced risk of eczema and food allergies. Also, women with lower intake of omega-3 fatty acids substantially increased their risk of having early delivery.
Why Is Omega-3 Important?
Regular intake of omega-3 cod liver oil is crucial for maintaining proportionate balance of hormone like substance – prostaglandins. This is essential for maintaining various physiological functions such as blood clotting, blood pressure, allergic responses, nerve transmissions and inflammatory reactions, functions of gastrointestinal and kidneys tracts along with production of other hormones.
This specific role of omega-3 in producing extremely beneficial prostaglandins clearly explains its health benefits including improving cognitive function, prevention of heart diseases and regulation of inflammation.
That’s not all – high doses of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce mood disorders and new studies are now identifying their potential benefits to help improve a wide range of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Benefits of omega-3 during Pregnancy
Omega-3 cod liver oil has been found to be extremely essential for both early visual development and neurological development of the baby. Sadly, despite its vast health benefits, the standard diet of every second pregnant women is severely deficient in omega-3.
This specific omega-3 dietary deficiency is compounded by the fact that expecting women become depleted in omega-3s, as their fetus uses for the development of its nervous system. Omega-3s are also used after birth to make breast milk.
With every subsequent pregnancy mothers keep becoming deficient in omega-3 content. Therefore, adding DHA and EPA in the diet of a pregnant women, is by far the best way to enhance the visual and cognitive development of their babies. Various studies have also revealed that having higher doses of omega-3 cod liver fish oil during pregnancy may help reduce the risk of allergies in infants.
DHA and EPA have been shown to have individual effects on pregnancy as well. These not only prevent pre-term labor, but are known to reduce the risk of pre- eclampsia and may also increase birth weight.
A deficiency of omega-3 may increase the risk of depression in expecting mothers. This also helps explaining worsening of postpartum mood disorders which begin early with subsequent pregnancies.
How to Get Your Daily Dose of Omega-3s
The best sources to get omega-3 – DHA and EPA are cold water fishes including tuna, salmon, anchovies and sardines to name a few. However, a vast ratio of population across the globe is concerned about toxins and mercury content in fish, which makes it difficult to consume required quantities of omega-3, especially during pregnancy.
This is one main reason why, purified and reliable omega-3 supplements are often the safest source of unadulterated form of EPA and DHA. A superior quality fish oil supplement, such as Super Omega TriplExpert, from iOTH is perfect for delivering the innumerable health benefits of DHA and EPA without any potential risk of toxicity.
Omega-3 Myth Buster
There are people who believe that flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acid content. However, it should be noted that flaxseed contains shorter chain of omega-3s, which is quite different from longer chain of EPA and DHA.
Expert Advice For Mums-To-Be
Mums-to-be are advised to take their regular doses of purified omega-3 supplement along with the essential vitamins that are already advocated. It should also be noted that whole folate still remains the most important supplement for pregnant women, expecting mothers should consider the latest findings on omega-3s for normal fetal growth and development.