Why DHA Is So Important During Pregnancy

September 2010, Xtend-Life Expert

Summary

Pregnant women make important dietary decisions every day based on sound advice from their healthcare providers. They are told to consume a healthy diet that includes essential pre-natal nutrients such as folic acid and calcium. The science supporting the importance of nutrients such as calcium and folic acid during pregnancy is well established, yet science also suggests there is another nutrient pregnant and nursing women should consider adding to their diet that is often overlooked.

Pregnant women make important dietary decisions every day based on sound advice from their healthcare providers. They are told to consume a healthy diet that includes essential pre-natal nutrients such as folic acid and calcium.

The science supporting the importance of nutrients such as calcium and folic acid during pregnancy is well established, yet science also suggests there is another nutrient pregnant and nursing women should consider adding to their diet that is often overlooked.

Joanna Machin, Xtend-Life’s Medical Nutritionist, says that a continual growth of research indicates that DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega 3 fatty acid, is essential during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and even sustained through childhood for continued infant growth and developmental support.

“Increasing DHA in the diet during pregnancy significantly enhances the level of DHA available to the unborn baby and may improve their growth, development, mental agility and overall strength,” she says. “During fetal development, the placenta selectively takes up DHA to supply some 70% of the energy devoted to brain development in the fetus.”

Benefits to Fetal Development

“Maternal DHA levels tend to significantly decline during the third trimester of pregnancy in particular,” Joanna explains. “Maternal DHA supplementation seems to slow the decline of DHA during this stage, creating higher plasma DHA levels in the mother during birth. This has been associated with greater central nervous system maturity in newborns, based on sleep-wake patterns.”

As a mother, supplementing DHA in your diet can improve all fetal developmental stages, leading to better eye-hand coordination, motor skills, attention span, problem solving abilities, and sleep patterns in your baby.

Dr. Anthony Perillo, Xtend-Life Medical Director, agrees and says that it’s important to remember that the baby’s needs for omega-3s must be met exclusively by the mother. “If the mother is not eating healthy sources of omega-3s, the baby’s health will be negatively affected,” he says. “With this in mind it’s useful to remind our readers that when couples are interested in conceiving they should seek the opinion of a healthcare professional familiar with the role of nutrition on enhancing the probability of both having a healthy child and maintaining the health of the mom-to-be.”

According to Dr. Perillo, nearly all of your brain’s nerve cells are formed before the day you are born. Particularly during the last 12 weeks of pregnancy, the growing baby’s brain content of omega-3s, especially DHA, increases 300-500%. What the expectant mother eats during the pregnancy is of utmost importance in influencing the baby’s intelligence and even affecting what genes are expressed and repressed.

“Studies published within the past 10 years demonstrate that the regular consumption of fish increases the odds of having a normal full-term baby. One particular study published in the British Medical Journal showed that low consumption of fish resulted in lower birth weight, and a greater risk of a pre-term delivery,” he says.

Why choose Xtend-Life as your pre-natal Omega 3 / DHA Fish Oil supplement?

  • PURITY: Xtend-Life’s Omega 3 / DHA Fish Oil is proven to be one of the purest in the world.We openly reveal the results from recent PCB tests and mercury (heavy metal) analysis on our website. Not only are these results very impressive…from a customer’s perspective, they’re also very reassuring.
  • FRESHNESS: Xtend-Life’s Omega 3 / DHA Fish Oil is exceptionally fresh. There are no additives or flavoring.
  • HIGH DHA CONTENT: DHA is the most valuable ‘known’ component of fish oil.Xtend-Life’sOmega 3 / DHA Fish oil has optimal levels of DHA.

Our Omega 3 / DHA Fish Oil is a 50/50 blend of Hoki oil in its natural triglyceride form and a concentrated molecularly distilled tuna oil in an ethyl ester form. Both are exceptionally pure and easily absorbed by the body due to their omega-3s maintaining a natural molecular shape. No synthetic triglycerides are found in our oil as we believe that our products should be as natural as possible.

Just look at our summary of facts as to how consuming Omega 3s with high DHA content may help both you and your baby:

  • Promote optimal birth weight…
  • Promote cognition and verbal IQ…
  • Reduce allergies…
  • Support stronger immune system…
  • Improve visual, brain, and CNS development…
  • Reduce risk of chronic disease…

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