Taking fish oil during pregnancy

September 17, 2018

Fish oil in pregnancy

We have known for a long time how good seafood and fish oil is for us. Fish including shellfish is low in saturated fat and high in protein. It is the primary dietary source omega-3 and polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA).

It really is not surprising that new studies have shown that women who take fish oil supplements or eat plenty of oily fish during the second half of pregnancy are more likely to have stronger babies.

Benefits all round.

Eating fish during pregnancy has been associated with improved brain development in children. DHA is preferentially incorporated into the rapidly developing brain during the last trimester of pregnancy and the first two years of infancy, concentrating in brain gray-matter and retinal membranes.

The study has shown that eating plenty of oily fish or taking a fish oil supplementation from the 24th week of pregnancy until a week after birth, led to a higher an increase in lean mass, bone mass and fat mass by the time the offspring from 0 to 6 years of age but not an increased risk of obesity at age 6.

What to eat…

Women who may become pregnant, are currently pregnant, or breastfeeding should eat two to three services of seafood a week.

Mix it up with a variety of seafood that is high in n-3 PUFA and low in mercury. Generally the larger the fish (e.g. shark) the more Mercury.

Best Choices

Anchovy Crawfish Perch (freshwater and ocean) Skate
Atlantic croaker Flounder Pickerel Smelt
Atlantic mackerel Haddock Plaice Sole
Black sea bass Hake Pollock Squid
Butterfish Herring Salmon Tilapia
Catfish Lobster, American and spiny Sardine Trout (freshwater)
Clam Mullet Scallop Tuna, canned light (includes skipjack)
Cod Oyster Shad Whitefish
Crab Pacific chub mackerel Shrimp Whiting

Other Important Info.

It is recommended that you consume 200 to 300 mg DHA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) each day and you can get them from the seafood list above, vegetable oils but also from fresh fruit and vegetables as well as.

Taking fish oil showed no improvement in neurologic development, cognitive development, or visual acuity, in particular, no increase in language, academic ability, or executive functioning.

See my interview with Channel 7 on the recent studies.

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