March 1, 2013
According to nutritional research, omega-3 essential fatty acids are very useful for pregnant women. This is basically the reason why more and more doctors recommend the use of prenatal vitamins with DHA or docosahexaenoic acid to their patients. DHA is important for the health of the eyes, heart and brain. But since this essential nutrient is not produced by the fetus, it needs to be provided from the outside. The body of the mother can be a source.
DHA is present mostly in egg yolks, fish such as sardine and salmon as well as seaweeds. Since women who are pregnant are frequently advised to limit their intake of fish because of the risk of mercury toxicity, they will end up with low levels of DHA in their bodies. Furthermore, most of the nutrients consumed are lost during pregnancy because of morning sickness. Therefore, omega-3 fatty acids are now included in prenatal vitamins. Women suffering from DHA deficiency will give birth to babies with low birth weight, low placental weight and low head circumference. In addition, appropriate levels of DHA can help in the prevention of birth defects like spina bifida. It will also prevent constipation and soften stool. Constipation is a common problem encountered by pregnant women.
Women who are pregnant are advised to take 300 milligrams of DHA on a daily basis. This entire amount can also be obtained from supplements and food. If these DHA prenatal vitamins are taken by pregnant women, the fetus will receive it through the blood via the umbilical cord and placenta.
It is vital to provide the fetus sufficient amounts of DHA omega-3 fatty acids. This is for the proper brain development of the fetus. DHA is an essential building block for the formation of brain tissue in humans. DHA contains the largest effect on the composition of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the brain than all the other fatty acids. It is very important to provide DHA to the fetus considering that 70% of the brain cells are formed before birth. Furthermore, DHA omega-3 can improve the cognitive and learning functions of the fetus. In the initial two years of their lives, babies are observed to have greater attention span.
Additionally, DHA has an important role in coordination of the signal transmission of the nervous system, brain and eyes. DHA is capable of increasing the flexibility of the cell membranes. This is essential for the transfer of message that took place in the brain. It will also improve the health of the eyes and heart. Women using these prenatal vitamins are less likely to have toxemia, postpartum depression and risks of pre-term labor.
Filed under: Food Supplements