The importance of omega-3 DHA in pregnancy and beyond
Omega-3 fatty acids and, in particular DHA, are important for both the developing foetus and infant.
Approved EFSA claim
Maternal intake of DHA contributes to the normal brain and eye development of the foetus as well as that of breastfed infants, hence the importance of omega-3 during pregnancy. Beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 200 mg of DHA in addition to the recommended daily intake of 200 m.
Background for EFSA claim
DHA is recommended during pregnancy, in addition to the nutrient contribution, because it has the ability to reduce the risk of preterm birth. It also has a positive effect on cognitive function after birth.
The official Nordic nutritional guidelines have a special recommendation for pregnant and breastfeeding women, which reflect the importance of omega-3 in pregnancy. The guidelines state that essential fatty acids should contribute to at least 5 E%, including 1 E% from omega-3 fatty acids, of which 200 mg/d should be DHA. This means that a pregnant or breastfeeding woman should eat approximately 11 g of essential fatty acids per day, including 2 g omega-3 fatty acids on a 2 000 kcal diet. Of the omega-3 fatty acids, 200 mg should be DHA.
Omega-3 with documented effects!
It is well documented that omega-3 from cod liver or fish oils is good for the heart, brain and vision of healthy people. The European Food Safety Authority has thoroughly reviewed all research on omega-3 benefits and has approved health claims for the heart, brain and vision.