Most pregnant women are not getting enough healthy omega-3 fatty acids, a new Canadian study finds.
Despite high levels of income and education, a majority of mothers surveyed by University of Alberta and the University of Calgary researchers are not meeting health experts’ recommendations for omega-3s — found in fish, nuts, seeds, and supplements — during pregnancy and lactation.
“Only 27 percent of women during pregnancy and 25 percent at three months postpartum met the current European Union (EU) consensus recommendation for omega-3s,” the researchers concluded. “Seafood, fish, and seaweed products contributed to 79 percent of overall . . . fatty acids intake from foods, with the majority from salmon.”
The findings, published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, are based on a review of more than 2,000 women and their infants.
The American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada recommend that all healthy adults including pregnant and lactating women consume at least 500 milligrams a day of omega-3s. The European Union recommends a minimum of 200 mg/day.
Posts by Erika Schwartz, M.D
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