Do Pregnant Women Need to Supplement DHA? How Do You Do It?

- Aug 30, 2018-


Does pregnancy need supplementation of DHA?

The answer is yes. Pregnant mothers need DHA supplementation, on the one hand, to meet their own needs, on the other hand, to meet the needs of the growing fetus.

Pregnancy is the golden period for DHA supplementation. The period from 3 months of pregnancy to 6 months of postpartum is the golden period for brain development. The brain development rate and degree of the baby is 70% of that of the human brain. The DHA required for fetal brain development is derived from the mother, and mothers-to-be should supplement DHA as early as possible to ensure the quality of breast milk for future newborns. Research has proved that pregnancy sufficient DHA, baby's intelligence level is higher.

Is it necessary for pregnant women to eat DHA? Many scientists have confirmed that DHA is directly related to the growth and maturation of nerve cells in the human brain and retina. Therefore, it is recommended that pregnant women supplement DHA appropriately from the fourth month of pregnancy. Pregnant women can eat more DHA containing foods or DHA supplements.


How to choose DHA nutriment?

To select DHA nutriment, we should pay attention to the content of DHA in the product. We should select the product with high DHA content.

How do pregnant women supplement DHA?

At first, they should eat more walnuts, peanuts and fish.

Pregnant women can also convert a small amount of DHA by eating foods containing alpha-linolenic acid, such as nuts, walnuts, peanuts, vegetable oils such as peanut oil, soybean oil, etc., but the conversion rate of alpha-linolenic acid to DHA is less than 1%, far from meeting the needs of fetal development.


Secondly, they should replenish algae oil.

Seaweed is the precursor of DHA. Deep-sea fish get DHA through eating seaweed. DHA algae oil is directly extracted from marine algae, without food chain transmission, no heavy metal pollution. DHA algae oil is extracted directly from marine single cell seaweed without EPA and easy to absorb safely. Direct replenish of algae oil is most suitable for pregnant women.

Thirdly, DHA and protein supplement.

Because DHA is in the form of fat in the brain of gold nutrition, after eating in the duodenum rely on the help of bile and water emulsion into emulsion, in order to be absorbed by duodenum and jejunum. Bile is not continuously discharged 24 hours a day into the duodenum, but is discharged intermittently 11 times, each time for 3 to 5 minutes.

Usually in the eating of protein-rich food, stimulated in the stomach mucosa on the sensory nerves, through the nerve reflex arc connection, causing gallbladder contraction discharge bile sweat to the duodenum. Therefore, pregnant women in eating DHA nutrients, should eat milk, soybean milk, eggs, fish, tofu and other foods, or simply take it with milk or soybean milk, so that absorption is sufficient, will not waste DHA.


Fourth, preterm infants supplement DHA.

If the fetus is not born after full-term pregnancy but is born early, there is not enough time in the mother to generate enough DHA in this way.

Such premature babies, brain pyramidal cells and retinal photoreceptor cell maturity is poor, in intelligence and vision will have varying degrees of damage. So in 1993, the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) put forward an expert recommendation on DHA supplementation for premature infants, which explicitly suggested that, in order to protect the normal development of vision in premature infants, forty mg of DHA per kilogram of body weight should be given to premature infants immediately from birth.

That is to say, if a premature infant is born with a weight of 2.5 kg, then DHA should be supplemented with 100 mg per day. The weight gain over time, then according to the actual weight at that time, 40 mg of DHA per kilogram of body weight, is no longer the daily supplement of 100 mg at birth, but more than 100 mg. It will take at least 40 weeks to make the vision of preterm infants reach the normal vision level of full pregnant babies.

Source of article: Dietitian net