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Supplements for Pregnant Women

Importance of DHA & EPA in

What is DHA & EPA?

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and
eicosapentaenic acid (EPA) is a form
of long chain polyunsaturated essential
omega-3 fatty acids that is crucial for
the development and functioning of the
brain, eye and central nervous system.
DHA is derived from dietry alphalinolenic acid and is found in foods such
as fatty fish, organ meats and eggs.
Unfortunately, majority of people are
deficient in this important nutrient.

Low levels of DHA in our body have been associated with

mood swings, memory loss, visual problems and other
neurological conditions.

their mothers to get needed DHA. Since DHA is derived

from the foods we eat, the content of DHA in a mothers
diet determines the amount of DHA passed on to her
developing baby. If the mother is not properly nourished,
Low levels of DHA in our body have the fetus will suffer.
been associated with mood swings,
memory loss, visual problems and other A continual supply of DHA is needed for the full term of
neurological conditions. In addition, the pregnancy as the DHA content of the cerebrum and
insufficient omega-3 fatty acids could cerebellum increases threefold during the last trimester.
also increase the risks of heart disease. Premature babies, who were born without the benefit of
Our bodies naturally produce small maternal DHA during the rapid brain growth phase of the
amounts of DHA, hence we must get last trimester of pregnancy, scored average points lower
the amounts we need from our diet or on IQ tests than average full-term infants when tested
supplements. People who limit meat later in life.
and egg intake, such as vegetarians or
those on low-fat diets, are liable to have During the last trimester of a pregnancy, the mother
transfers to her fetus much of the DHA needed for the
low level of DHA.
development of its brain and nervous system. If a mother
fails to get sufficient DHA in her diet, the fetus will useup DHA that the mother has stored in her own tissue Importance of DHA & EPA in
including her brain.
Current research suggests adequate levels of DHA may
A balanced diet is a basic part of good help increase a developing babys cognitive functioning,
health at all times in our life, especially reduce the risk of pre-term labor and decrease the risk of
during pregnancy. DHA and EPA fatty postpartum depression.
acids are an important part of pre-natal
development. Developing babies rely on
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Foods that contain DHA & EPA

DHA is found in cold water fatty fish, including salmon,
tuna (blue-fin tuna have up to five times more DHA than
other types of tuna), mackerel, sardines, shellfish, and
herring. Although some of these fish contain low levels of
mercury, the Food and Drug Administration has found that
consuming several servings of fish each week poses no
risk to healthy people and conveys many health benefits.
Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
should avoid Atlantic mackerel, shark, swordfish, and
tilefish. They should also limit consumption of white
albacore tuna to fewer than 6 oz. per week. (High-quality
fish oil supplements made by manufacturers who test for
mercury and other toxins do not pose the same risk of
mercury contamination. Read labels carefully and check
for purity, or ask your doctor to help you find the best
quality DHA supplement.) Vegetarian sources of DHA
come from seaweed.

For infants, breast milk from a well-nourished mother

contains significant amounts of DHA, while infant formula
may not have any DHA. Read labels carefully to find a
brand that does.

Obimin Pluz is a DHA/EPA supplement for pregnant
mothers. It contains 1,000 mcg of Folic Acid, 30 mg
of Iron, 100mg of Calcium and 10mg of Vitamin C
essential for healthy pre-natal development.

Folic Acid
- Essential for growth and cells division and plays an
important role in the formation of red blood cells.
- Protects against malformation of the spine (Spina bifida),
skull and brain (anencephaly).

- Essential for producing extra blood needed by both
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mother and baby.

- Prenatal prophylactic iron supplementation significantly
lowers the incidence of low-birth-weight and preterm lowbirth-weight babies.

Vitamin C
- Enhances Iron absorption.

- Essential mineral for babys bone and teeth.

Things to consider before taking DHA & EPA

Blood Pressure Medication DHA may lower blood
pressure, so it could make the effects of prescription blood
pressure medication stronger.
Anticoagulants (blood thinners) EPA in fish oil
supplements may increase bleeding time, so fish oil could
make the effects of these drugs stronger. The same does
not appear to be true of DHA alone.
Diabetes medications Theoretically, fish oil supplements
may lower levels of glucose in the blood and could make
effects of diabetes drugs stronger. If you have diabetes,
talk to your doctor before taking fish oil.
Aspirin In combination with aspirin, fish oil could be
helpful in the treatment of some forms of coronary artery
disease. However, this combination may also increase
the risk of bleeding. Talk to your doctor to see if this
combination is right for you.
Cyclosporine Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce some
of the side effects associated with cyclosporine therapy,
which is often used to reduce rejection in transplant
recipients. Talk to your doctor before adding any new herbs
or supplements to your existing medication regimen.

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Considerations for Pregnant and Breastfeeding

But DHA supplements derived from fish oil are not
recommended for pregnant women and children five
years and younger, because fish oil contains fairly large
amounts of EPA and moderate amounts of DHA.
Algae supplements are the better source of DHA for
children, pregnant and breastfeeding mother. Until recently,
the primary source of DHA dietary supplements was
marine fish oils, which supplies both eicosapentaenoic acid
(EPA) and DHA. However, the development of a process
of extract DHA straightly from ocean micro algae, the
food source of fish, has provided us with a natural source
of DHA without EPA. Thus, it has made assessment of
the separate dietary effects of single omega-3 fatty acids

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