Omega-3 fatty acids

Pregnancy | The Essential Nutrients and the Important Role of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA

Around two billion people are affected by micronutrient deficiencies globally, and with increased nutrient requirements during pregnancy, pregnant women are particularly vulnerable.1 The consequences can be detrimental to both the mother and the developing foetus2, with various micronutrients essential for embryogenesis, foetal growth, and maternal health.3 A lack of key nutrients can lead to anaemia and pre-eclampsia in the mother, and low birthweight and developmental delays in the foetus.4-6 It is even suggested that the development of many chronic diseases later in life have a foetal origin.3

Omega-3 fatty acids are well-known for their range of health benefits, with a growing body of evidence indicating the therapeutic effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for a range of conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression.7 Representing 97% of all omega-3 fatty acids in the brain, and also found in high concentrations in the central nervous system and retina of the eye, DHA is required for brain development and healthy vision, making it a crucial nutrient during pregnancy.8

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