Prenatal Vitamins and Omega 3′s During Pregnancy?
Prenatal Vitamins and Omega 3′s During Pregnancy?
There is ample clinical evidence to support the doses mentioned and safety has be proven as well.
Prenatal vitamins are formulated specifically for women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, and women who are breast-feeding, with particular emphasis on:
Folic acid. To reduce the risk of having a child with neural tube defects, women who are trying to become pregnant should get 600 micrograms (mcg) of folate or folic acid a day through diet and supplements. Other healthy adults — both men and women — need only 400 mcg a day. While uncommon, getting too much folic acid by taking supplements can mask the symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency and delay diagnosis and treatment.
Iron. During pregnancy, the recommended intake of iron is 27 milligrams (mg) a day. Women between the ages of 19 and 50 who aren’t pregnant need only 18 mg a day, and women age 51 and older and all adult men need only 8 mg a day. Getting too much iron can be toxic because it can build up in your body, causing constipation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and, in severe cases, possibly death.
Calcium. Pregnant adult women and healthy men and women ages 19 to 50 all need 1,000 mg a day. Men and women age 51 and older need 1,200 mg a day. Because prenatal vitamins are intended to supplement calcium you get in your diet, they generally contain only 200 to 300 mg of calcium. If you rely on prenatal vitamins to meet your calcium needs, you likely won’t get enough, raising your risk of osteoporosis and other health problems.
It’s best to take a multivitamin tailored to your sex, age and specific medical needs.
Why is taking Omega-3 especially important during pregnancy?
Omega-3s have been found to be essential for both neurological and early visual development of the baby. However, the standard western diet is severely deficient in these critical nutrients. This omega-3 dietary deficiency is compounded by the fact that pregnant women become depleted in omega-3s, when the fetus uses omega-3s for its nervous system development. Omega-3s are also used after birth to make breast milk. With each subsequent pregnancy, mothers are further depleted. Research has confirmed that adding EPA and DHA to the diet of pregnant women has a positive effect on visual and cognitive development of the baby. Studies have also shown that higher consumption of omega-3s may reduce the risk of allergies in infants.
Omega-3 fatty acids have positive effects on the pregnancy itself. Increased intake of EPA and DHA has been shown to prevent pre-term labor and delivery, lower the risk of pre-eclampsia and may increase birth weight. Omega-3 deficiency also increases the mother’s risk for depression. This may explain why postpartum mood disorders may become worse and begin earlier with subsequent pregnancies.
In a 2006 national survey, over two-thirds of pregnant women and new mothers said that they had not received any information from their health care providers about the benefits that Omega-3 could provide during their pregnancy and in the postpartum time.
What foods contain Omega-3 (EPA + DHA)?
The best sources of EPA and DHA are cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies, and herring. Many people are justifiably concerned about mercury and other toxins in fish, especially during pregnancy. For this reason, purified fish oil supplements are often the safest source of EPA and DHA. A high quality fish oil supplement from a reputable manufacturer delivers the health benefits of EPA and DHA without the risk of toxicity.
Many people think that flaxseed and/or flaxseed oil contains omega-3s. But flaxseed contains the shorter-chain omega-3, ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which is different from the longer-chain EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are the omega-3s that the body needs for optimal health and development. While it was once thought that the human body could convert ALA to EPA and DHA, current research shows that such conversion rarely and inefficiently occurs. Fish oil is a more reliable source of EPA and DHA.
Is it safe to take Fish Oil during pregnancy?
Quality fish oil is safe to take during pregnancy. Fresh fish (that is eaten) can often contain environmental toxins like mercury that accumulate during its life span. These toxins can be virtually eliminated during the manufacture and processing of fish oil, with the use of high quality raw materials and an advanced refining process.
Some brands of fish oil are of higher quality than others. A reputable fish oil manufacturer should be able to provide documentation of third-party lab results that show the purity levels of their fish oil, down to the particles per trillion level.
What should I look for when purchasing Fish oil?
Investigate the manufacturing process— How is the fish oil manufactured and what are the quality standards that the manufacturer is using? The quality standards that exist for fish oil-including the Norwegian Medicinal Standard, the European Pharmacopoeia Standard and the voluntary U.S. standard established by the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s 2006 monograph-guarantee quality by setting maximum allowances for toxins.
Smell— Does the fish oil smell fishy? Research shows that fish oils only smell unpleasant when the oil has started to degrade and is becoming rancid. A high quality fish oil supplement will not smell fishy.
Taste— Does the fish oil taste fishy? The freshest and highest-quality fish oils should not taste fishy. Avoid fish oils that have really strong or artificial flavors added to them because they are most likely trying to hide the fishy flavor of rancid oil.
How much Fish Oil should be taken?
ISSFAL (the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids) has established the following recommended minimum dosage chart:
Infants (1-18 months):
0-15 lbs: 32 mg/lb EPA+DHA
Children (1.5-15 yrs):
15 mg/lb EPA+DHA
Adults (15-115 yrs):
500 mg EPA+DHA
(with a minimum of 220 mg EPA and 220 mg DHA)
Pregnant and Lactating Women:
300 mg DHA daily