Increasing evidence suggests that pregnant women would benefit from taking omega-3 (docosahexaenoic acid). Crucial for brain functioning, this essentially fatty acid is a substantial component of our brain matter indicating that healthy neurological development depends upon adequare sources of DHA. In the last, oily deep water fish were the obvious place to get DHA from. Wild salmon, char and mackerel have a naturally high level of omega oils. But with increasing toxicity in our ocean life, is there an easier, safer way to get adequate DHA supplementation. The answer is yes, from the algae which the fish feed on, and which is where they draw their own supplies of essential oil.
Is Algal Oil as effective as Fish Oil for delivering high quality DHA?
Although the algal oil industry is in its relative infancy, evidence is mounting that this is one of the most exciting supplements in the health industry. A pilot study from the Journal of Functional Foods showed that algae supplements are equally effective as fish oil in delivering DHA. Considering that fish oil is now increasingly contaminated, and the oily fish most of all, it makes sense that looking to alternative sources of health-giving DHA is the wisest choice for both mother and baby. Because it’s produced in carefully controlled bio reactors and not the open ocean, algae products can be guaranteed free of heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, cadmium, lead etc.
Benefits of DHA for foetal health
A polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid, DHA is important for brain health, and makes up 97% of our retinas, making it crucial for eyesight too. Further studies have indicated this may be helpful to the development of baby’s motor skills, attention span and hand-eye coordination. It may also help the central nervous system and immunity of the baby, which is why the American Pregnancy Association consider EPA and DHA supplementation critical.
At what Stage of Pregnancy Should you Start taking Algal DHA?
As soon as you discover you’re pregnant, we recommend you begin taking algae supplements, and continue it right up to the end of the breastfeedingt stage. Many women find that they grow accustomed to the sense of wellbeing DHA brings so they simply continue taking it permamently but, for the purposes of foetal and infant development this is obviously the critical time.
How much DHA should you take while pregnant?
Our suggestion is around 300mg of algal based DHA oil should supply you an optimum level of nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Have a close look at the label of your chosen brand and assess how much DHA and EPA are available per 1000mg of oil.