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Benefits of DHA During Pregnancy

The period of expectation of a baby for a future mother is accompanied by increased anxieties for the healthy development of the child. Care must be taken to get enough vitamins, minerals, and beneficial components from food. Many women have heard about the importance of DHA during pregnancy.

The human body can synthesize the substance on its own in small quantities. This is not enough to maintain all physiological processes. Pregnant women especially need an additional dose of DHA.

Acid takes part in the formation of the child’s brain, nervous system, and retina. The use of the daily norm of DHA during the period of gestation reduces the risk of preterm birth by 45-64%. It is necessary to continue to use the norm of docosahexaenoic acid during lactation throughout the entire period of breastfeeding.

What is DHA?

DHA is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that is part of the Omega 3 fatty acids. The compound is found in high concentrations in marine fish, seafood, algae, and fish oil. The acid helps maintain the functions of the cardiovascular system. Its presence inhibits the growth of atherosclerotic plaques.

DHA helps fight inflammation and has a beneficial effect on the nervous system. The compound takes part in the metabolic processes of the body. For example, fatty acid is needed to speed up metabolism. The norm of the use of the substance helps to recover faster after an illness.

Foods That contain DHA

A sufficient amount of docosahexaenoic acid is found in seafood, animal, and vegetable products. The highest concentration of the substance is found in marine fish. Most types of fish can be bought in different countries. Tuna, mackerel, pollock, salmon, anchovies, and herring are affordable.

Fans of shrimp, lobster, black caviar, and seaweed will be able to receive the daily allowance of the substance. Pregnant women should not consume marine fish with high levels of mercury, such as swordfish and tilefish. The substance is found in lower concentrations in greens, vegetable oils, chicken meat, and eggs.

Vitamin D in Common Foods per 1 LB:

Salmon6500 mg
Caviar6100 mg
Tuna5000 mg
Trout2400 mg
Shellfish2260 mg
Oysters2250 mg
Seaweed600 mg
Chicken Eggs500 mg
Beans200 mg

How does a DHA deficiency manifest?

Approximately 70% of the adult population of the planet does not receive DHA in the required amount, according to statistics from the World Health Organization. Since polyunsaturated fatty acids are necessary to maintain biological processes in the body. The lack of a substance can be noticed by the characteristic symptoms.

Deterioration of the skin condition – Acne, irritation, and dryness appear. Acid supports the functioning of cell membranes and its lack leads to dehydration of the skin.

Dry Eye Syndrome – This symptom is typical for people over forty years old. A deficiency of DHA leads to dry eye sockets and poor vision.

Difficulties with concentration – Lack of docosahexaenoic acid negatively affects the ability to concentrate on a task, remember information, and quickly respond to events.

Increased anxiety – Deficiency in Omega 3 and DHA have been linked to depression and anxiety in pregnant women and postpartum mothers.

Decreased immunity – Polyunsaturated acids are involved in the production of leukocytes. Blood cells cannot resist viruses if there is a shortage of the substance.

You will need to take a blood test to determine the level of DHA in the body. Laboratories check the acid content in the shell of red blood cells.

What are the benefits of DHA during pregnancy?

Daily intake of DHA reduces the risk of miscarriage. This is one of the important benefits of DHA during pregnancy. Having a baby before 34 weeks of gestation is considered a preterm birth and increases the risk of the baby having health problems. Similar studies have been carried out in the USA and Australia. They showed that sufficient intake of DHA reduces the likelihood of premature birth of a baby by up to 64%.

The female body needs an increased dose of DHA in the third trimester of pregnancy. The eyes and brain of the fetus develop rapidly during this period. The rate of intake of DHA during pregnancy has a beneficial effect on the cognitive functions of the infant.

Breastfeeding mothers should continue to eat a diet high in DHA as an omega-3 fatty acid. The substance helps to develop the baby’s brain and organs of vision normally. Taking the required amount of acid by a future pregnant woman will help prevent perinatal depression.

How much DHA do you need during pregnancy?

The fetus receives vitamins and microelements from the mother’s body during pregnancy. Doctors recommend increasing the level of consumption of important components that are involved in the key physiological processes of the expectant mother’s body in this regard.

It is enough to consume up to 200 mg of docosahexaenoic acid per day to maintain health before pregnancy. The rate of use of the substance during pregnancy and lactation should not fall below this indicator. Gynecologists recommend increasing DHA intake to 300 mg per day.

It is possible to get the required rate of acid with food. The doctor leading the pregnancy may prescribe synthetic vitamins if there is a deficiency of DHA in the body. Most prenatal vitamin complexes contain the required daily allowance of DHA.

What side effects can DHA cause?

You can quickly saturate the body with docosahexaenoic acid by eating seafood. The substance is better absorbed in the body if it comes with food. The use of foods rich in polyunsaturated acids is not harmful to humans. More risks exist with an overdose of multivitamins.

Excessive consumption of DHA in the form of fish oil can do more harm than good to a person. Bad breath, nausea, and diarrhea are the main symptoms of an overdose. Taking high doses of omega-3 fatty acids (including DHA) can stimulate glucose production and lead to high blood sugar levels.

The characteristic signs of substance intoxication are bleeding gums: docosahexaenoic acid thins the blood. Fish oil lowers blood pressure. DHA is beneficial to the body in moderation. Overdose causes heartburn, acid reflux, and stomach pain.

Do I need to take DHA supplements?

DHA deficiency can be avoided by following a balanced diet. The lack of a substance is observed in people who do not like fish and seafood. Studies show that most adults in the US do not get enough DHA from their diet.

Deficiency is most felt by vegetarians and pregnant women. The fetus takes some of the nutrients from the mother’s body. A supplement should be taken to ensure a healthy fetal brain and visual development in cases of confirmed DHA deficiency. Acute DHA deficiency during pregnancy can result in premature and low birth infant weight.

The high content of polyunsaturated acids in fish and seafood makes it possible to compensate for the deficiency of the substance with the help of a diet. It is worth taking artificial DHA supplements in cases where this is not possible. Most vitamin complexes contain the daily norm of fatty acids.

Talk to your doctor before taking DHA

Polyunsaturated acids are indispensable components for maintaining vital biological processes. The immune system does not function properly without DHA, the inflammatory response worsens, and cell growth slows down. An insufficient amount of the substance in pregnant women can have long-term consequences for the fetus.

DHA supplementation during pregnancy can provide sufficient amounts of the substance and significantly reduce the risks to the development of the fetus if the expectant mother consumes too little DHA in the diet. You should consult a gynecologist before buying vitamin complexes.

An overdose of vitamins is no less dangerous than their deficiency. An excess of fatty acids thins the blood, which can lead to bleeding in pregnant women and cause a risk of miscarriage as a result. Every pregnancy is unique. The attending physician prescribes the intake of multivitamins after examining the results of the tests.

When Not to Take DHA Supplements

Pregnant women are trying in every way to take care of their health. Taking fish oil supplements seems harmless, although in some cases it is dangerous for the woman and the fetus. The use of a synthetic supplement can pose a health risk to people who suffer from allergies and intolerances of components despite the benefits of DHA for the body.

It is important to consider the compatibility of supplements with medications if a person is being treated. The use of synthetic docosahexaenoic acid is not recommended for people who have high blood lipid levels. A heart rhythm disorder, atrial fibrillation, or atrial fibrillation may form.

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