Consuming Omega 3 Fatty Acids Ensures Proper Fetal Neurological System

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Consuming Omega-3 Fatty Acids Ensures Proper Fetal Neurological System Development :

Consuming Omega-3 Fatty Acids Ensures Proper Fetal Neurological System Development

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The importance of including omega-3 fatty acids in a person’s diet is now being realized by more people seeking to maintain optimal health and well being. Found in fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids have many health benefits. From the young to the elderly, more people are including omega-3 fatty acids from foods such as fish or through omega-3 supplements. However, recent research has revealed that expectant mothers and their growing babies need omega-3 fish oils.

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The fatty aciddocosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is part of a group of omega-3s called PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids). PUFAs are found in the brain and provide support and balance to the neuron network. Supplementing omega-3s from fish oils in the diet gives a developing brain an abundance of PUFAs. This benefits the developing fetus as it supports the proper development of the brain by ensuring proper fetal neurological system development.

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DHA is not only important to ensuring optimal development of the fetal brain, immune and nervous system development, and eye health, research of fish oil has shown that the supplementation of fish oil during pregnancy reduces the risk of a newborn developing the skin condition eczema. When DHA and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) go through the cell membrane, they suppress inflammation that could possibly lead to skin reactions and different allergies that can occur during early childhood development. These findings were concluded after a study of seven hundred pregnant women revealed that expecting mothers who took fish oil supplements were compared to a placebo which showed that mothers taking fish oils has less incidences of infant eczema.

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Studies have shown that pregnant women that consume fish oils can decrease the risk of pre-ecclampsia as well as prevent early labor, and may even help to prevent post-partum depression (PPD). DHA decreases throughout pregnancy in the mother, particularly in the third trimester, as it is transferred to the fetus. When a mother is lacking in sufficient DHA and redistribution of DHA occurs to ensure optimal fetal brain, eye, immune and nervous system development, the depletion of the DHA can result in post partum depression. For this reason, nutritional experts advise pregnant women to consume omega-3 fatty acids which will help not only reduce the risks of health problems for the mother and baby before and after birth, but also ensure proper development of the fetal neurological system. In addition, mothers who supplement with omega-3 from fish oil while they are breast feeding can improve the early development of a newborn's brain, motor function, and visual system.

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Many experts advise that women should take sure they are getting omega-3 in their diets at least six months prior to conception. It will help to ensure there is adequate build up of the fatty acid in their body. In addition, many experts internationally recommend that pregnant and lactating mothers take 300-600 mg of DHA per day. The American Pregnancy Association recommends that they take 500-1000 mg of fish oil per day so to that at least 300 mg are DHA. It is also recommended that women consume a high quality fish oil product that is processed using methods that removes contaminants such as PCBs, heavy metals, and dioxins. Women should include an omega-3 supplement before and throughout their pregnancy, as well as while they are breastfeeding.

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