Pregnant women need more omega-3

26 March 2015

A new study has shown that women are not getting enough omega-3 when they are pregnant. This could be significant as it is crucial for early-infant development.

The findings, part of the Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition (APrON) involving more than 2,000 women and their children, are published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

Initial analysis of 600 women during and after their pregnancy was conducted by researchers at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary and found that just 27 per cent of women were adhering to recommended guidelines for fish consumption.

Eating enough omega-3 during pregnancy is essential for fetal and placental development, making it critical for the development of an infant's brain. The team found that the majority of participants were not meeting the guidelines, despite having a high level of education and income.

The study suggests that nutritional counselling and education about benefits of omega-3 should extend beyond pregnancy as 44 per cent reported no longer taking supplements after birth, despite it being important in breast feeding.

Posted by Phillip Briggs

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