A healthy diet is very important, especially during pregnancy. In addition to vitamins and minerals, omega 3 fatty acids are also part of a healthy and balanced diet. Omega 3 is mainly found in marine animals.
Due to the increasing pollution of fish, more and more doctors are advising against the increased consumption of fish during pregnancy. Accordingly, the essential fatty acids are available in capsule form.
The following article is intended to give you a more detailed overview of the topic of omega 3 capsules during pregnancy. If you are still unsure about consuming Omega 3 capsules, talk to your doctor about it.
the essentials in brief
- Omega 3 fatty acids cannot be produced in the body itself. They have various benefits for a healthy lifestyle by lowering blood pressure and protecting against cardiovascular diseases.
- The omega 3 fatty acids, characterized by EPA and DHA, reach the baby via the umbilical cord. If the pregnant woman does not ingest these through food, her omega 3 stores are emptied.
- Omega 3 fatty acids have a positive effect on the healthy development of the baby's brain.
Omega 3 capsules during pregnancy: what you should know
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for a healthy diet as they contain various benefits for a healthy lifestyle. Accordingly, for the healthy development of their newborn, pregnant women often reach for the fatty acids in capsule form to ensure accurate absorption.
Sea creatures enjoy high levels of omega 3 fatty acids. Due to the high levels of pollution in the oceans, doctors advise pregnant women not to eat fish frequently and recommend omega 3 capsules. (Image Source: Diane Helentjaris / Unsplash)
How do Omega 3 capsules work?
Omega 3 fatty acids have a positive effect both on the cardiovascular system and on fat and cholesterol metabolism. They also protect against inflammation and extend the life expectancy of cells, which is why they also protect against cancer and Alzheimer's. They inhibit blood clotting and even have a blood pressure-lowering effect (1).
How do omega 3 capsules work during pregnancy?
Omega 3 is said to contribute to the healthy development of the newborn's brain during pregnancy. The following table should give you an overview of the effect and influence of Omega 3 capsules:
|Reducing the risk of preterm birth||Fetus can develop optimally in the womb.|
|Support stable blood sugar||Reducing the risk of gestational diabetes.|
|Prevention of chronic diseases in the mother||The risk of postpartum depression, high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus is reduced.|
|Prevention of diseases in the newborn||The risk of hay fever, allergies, asthma, neurodermatitis and ADHD is reduced. Cognitive abilities such as increased alertness and good sleep patterns can be increased.|
Omega 3 capsules during pregnancy enjoy a positive health impact on both the baby and the mother (3). Possible side effects of omega 3 capsules during pregnancy are presented below to give you a detailed overview of the effects of the fatty acid.
What are the side effects of omega 3 capsules during pregnancy?
In addition to the advantages of taking omega 3 capsules during pregnancy, they can also cause side effects similar to vitamins :
Overdose : If you take too many omega 3 capsules, you risk increasing your cholesterol levels. There is a risk, especially with the capsule form. An overdose of omega 3 through natural foods is, according to the
Omega 3 capsules should always be taken after careful consultation with your doctor to avoid side effects and risks. (Image source: Michał Parzuchowski / Unsplash)
When should omega 3 capsules be taken during pregnancy?
The development of the baby's brain takes place especially in the last trimester of pregnancy. In this respect, pregnant women from the 25th week of pregnancy should pay attention to a sufficient omega 3 intake. Omega 3 intake is also important for the healthy development of the newborn while breastfeeding (6).
If the pregnant woman is well supplied with EPA and DHA, so is the child.
Of course, it does not harm either the pregnant woman or the baby to take in enough omega 3 fatty acids at the beginning of pregnancy. It's also best to talk to your doctor about their recommendations. In addition, you should also make sure that you eat enough minerals for a healthy everyday life.
What studies are there on the effects of omega 3 capsules during pregnancy?
There are countless studies on the effect of omega 3 capsules during pregnancy. The following table should give you an overview of the effects of omega 3 during pregnancy. It is based on a study conducted in 2018 with a total of 19,927 pregnant women (7).
number of studies number of women Result 26 10.304 11% reduced risk of preterm birth before 37 weeks 9 5.204 42% reduced risk of preterm birth before 34 weeks 10 7,416 25% reduced risk of perinatal death of the baby 15 8,449 10% reduced risk of low birth weight
The studies show that the intake of omega 3 during pregnancy has positive effects on the course of pregnancy.
Diseases can be avoided to a large extent by increasing Omega 3.
A 2016 study found that babies who received omega 3 from their mother were 41% less likely to develop food allergies and 47% less likely to develop eczema (8).
This impression is also confirmed by a study conducted in 2015 on the development of babies who took in the appropriate levels of omega 3 during pregnancy (9).
The following table gives you an overview of the results of the study, based on children up to the age of 36 months:
number of studies Number of Children age of the children Result 8th 3.175 12-36 months 34% fewer IgE-mediated allergies such as neurodermatitis 8th 3.175 first 12 months 72% lower risk of developing IgE allergies 8th 3.175 from 36 months 16% lower risk of developing IgE allergies 8th 3.175 12-36 months 47% lower risk of hay fever
The study also proves the safety of omega 3 in pregnancy. Since the intake of omega 3 can also cause an increased tendency to bleed, many pregnant women fear an increased rate of perinatal bleeding. The study disproved this fear.
The results show that pregnant women should take omega 3 to prevent atopic diseases in their babies.
You can find more proof of scientific studies on the effects of omega 3 in pregnancy in the following article (10).
For a positive course of the pregnancy and a good development of your baby, you should take omega 3 during pregnancy. (Image source: Aditya Romansa / Unsplash)
How many Omega 3 capsules should be dosed?
The daily requirement of omega 3 varies depending on the group of people. The German Society for Nutrition has published the following guide values, which are shown in the following table to give you a more precise overview:
group of people Omega 3 daily requirement in mg Adult 250-300 Pregnant and lactating women about 450 Infants (6th - 24th month) 100 children and young people 250
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should increase their omega 3 requirement by around 200 mg to ensure the healthy development of their newborn. To increase the daily requirement, omega 3 capsules are a good alternative (4).
Before consuming the capsules, you should consult with your doctor about the right dosage amount for you. Everyone's body is different and so does nutrient absorption. Last but not least, the table is only intended as a guide.
What studies are there on the dosage of Omega 3 capsules?
The number of studies on the dosage of omega 3 capsules during pregnancy is less. A 2013 study of 350 women found the following (11):
Omega 3 intake Effect at least 200 mg Reducing the risk of preterm birth 600 mg The risk of premature birth is reduced by 87.5%, the birth weight is approx. 200g higher
According to this study, the triple dosage of omega 3 during pregnancy has an impressive effect on the course of pregnancy. However, an overdose also carries risks, as explained in the section on side effects. You should definitely have a professional consultation with your doctor about the dosage amount.
Some women aren't thrilled with the nutrient intake in capsule form. In the following, the alternatives are presented in order to be able to increase the important fatty acids. (Image source: Diana Polekhina / Unsplash)
What alternatives are there to omega 3 capsules during pregnancy?
Some women are not thrilled with the nutrient intake provided by tablets or capsules. However, since the omega 3 fatty acid is important for a healthy everyday life, especially during pregnancy, alternatives to omega 3 capsules are presented to you:
- Fish : The best way to gain omega 3 for any non-vegetarian. Although doctors warn against excessive consumption of marine animals during pregnancy due to increasing pollution in the oceans, there are differences here too.
- Vegetables: Omega 3 fats are found in avocado, Brussels sprouts, spinach, and beans (12).
- Nuts and seeds: Walnuts, almonds, chia and flaxseed contain omega 3 (5).
- Oils : Canola, flaxseed, walnut and chai oil also provide you with omega 3 (12). So that they do not lose their nutrients, they should be added cold, for example in salad dressings or dips. Algae oil in particular contains a lot of omega 3, which is why it is a good alternative to the capsules.
In addition to vitamins and minerals, omega 3 fatty acids are among the elementary components of a healthy and balanced diet. Omega 3 capsules in pregnancy generate a safe and accurate increase in fatty acid for your omega 3 household and that of your baby. Especially for vegetarians and vegans, they offer an ideal alternative to increase the fatty acid.
In addition to the capsules, there are other alternatives to take in omega 3. However, vegetables, oils and co do not have as much omega 3 content as capsules or fish. There are dosage recommendations for pregnant and breastfeeding women, but you should clarify these individually with your doctor.
- Mentally fit with omega-3 fatty acids and resveratrol. Federal Ministry of Education and Research. [02/26/2021]. Source
- Prof. Dr. Clemens von Schacky speaker at medical training: "Pregnancy and early childhood development - fatty acids are crucial". May 10th, 2017. [02/26/2021]. Source
- Prof. Dr. Ingrid Gerhard: Omega 3 during pregnancy, June 15, 2020. [02/27/2021]. Source
- Leona Grenzow: Omega 3 daily requirement and dosage. 10/25/2019. [02/27/2021]. Source
- Healthy into life: Are supplements with omega-3 fatty acids necessary during pregnancy? 09/22/2018. [02/28/2021]. Source
- PharmaWiki: Omega 3 fatty acids and pregnancy. 05/15/2016. [02/28/2021]. Source
- Middleton P, Gomersall JC, Gould JF, Shepherd E, Olsen SF, Makrides M (2018) Omega-3 fatty acid addition during pregnancy [2021-03-01]. Source
- Best KP, Gold M, Kennedy D, Martin J, Makrides M (2016) Omega‑3 long-chain PUFA intake during pregnancy and allergic disease outcomes in the offspring: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies and randomized controlled trials. [03/01/2021]. Source
- Gunaratne AW, Makrides M, Collins CT (2015) Maternal prenatal and/or postnatal n‑3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) supplementation for preventing allergies in early childhood. [03/01/2021]. Source
- Volker Schmiedel: Omega-3 fatty acids in pregnancy. February 12, 2020: Springer Verlag. [03/01/2021]. Source
- Carlson SE, Colombo J, Gajewski BJ, Gustafson KM, Mundy D, Yeast J, Georgieff MK, Markley LA, Kerling EH, Shaddy DJ (2013) DHA supplementation and pregnancy outcomes. Source
- Omega-3 fatty acids - fish and plant-based alternatives. herbal house. [03/01/2021]. Source