Pregnant and breastfeeding women: a necessary omega 3 supplementation

According to the Canadian APrON study, pregnant and breastfeeding women do not consume enough omega 3, which is essential for infant development.

The Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition (APrON) Cohort Study is following nearly 2,000 women and their infants living in Calgary. Its main objective is to understand the link between the nutritional status and the mental health of the mother during pregnancy, as well as the health and development of the child. As part of this research, the researchers evaluated the intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in 600 women, during and after pregnancy.

75% of women do not have EU recommended omega 3 levels

The American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada recommend that pregnant and breastfeeding women consume at least 500 mg of long-chain omega-3s daily. EFSA and the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) specifically recommend that pregnant and breastfeeding women consume at least 200 mg of DHA per day. The study reports that only 27% of women during pregnancy and 25% of women three months postpartum met the current European Union (EU) recommendation for DHA. The main dietary source of omega 3 was salmon.

A necessary supplement

Women taking a DHA supplement during pregnancy or the postpartum period were 10.6 and 11.1 times more likely to meet the European recommendation, respectively. Those who followed Health Canada’s recommendation of consuming one or two servings per week of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids also reached this protective threshold. Finally, the study shows that dietary advice should continue beyond pregnancy: 44% of the women in the cohort stopped taking the supplement while they were breastfeeding, three months after giving birth.

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Jia X et al, Applied physiology, nutrition and metabolism, 40 10.1139/apnm-2014-0313

* The information and services available on pressesante.com do not in any way replace the consultation of competent health professionals. [HighProtein-Foods.com]

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