We all know DHA is the most crucial element during pregnancy. It is recommended to take it for the better development of the brain in children. But how much DHA should be taken? What happened if too much DHA during pregnancy?
Today you know all about DHA. DHA is Docosahexaenoic acid. It is a vital Omega 3 fatty acid that is not enough produced by our body.
So, we have to intake other natural supplements essential for the brain, retina, cerebral cortex, and skin. DHA is a large chain of essential omega 3 fatty acids found in seafood and eggs critical to a fetus’s brain and eye improvement.
DHA is the fundamental element of all human brains. It is usually found in marine fish oil. Also, this fatty acid is currently being produced from a type of fine algae plant.
Mothers who depend on vegetables have been noted to have lower DHA, including their breast milk and umbilical blood. DHA makes from ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), another omega3 fatty acid present in plant oil such as chia seeds and walnuts.
Though converting from ALA to DHA rate is low, about 1 to 10%. That’s why a nutritionist DHA supplementation during your gestation.
According to the American pregnancy association and the American Academy of Pediatrics 200 mg, DHA/day when pregnant and 300 mg during breastfeeding is effective.
Why is DHA so necessary to intake during your pregnancy?
As you already know, DHA is an essential fatty acid. Some fatty acids do not produce in our bodies. Again, these fatty acids are essential to synthesize for other unsaturated fatty acids.
- Moreover, in their absence, the growth of the body is hindered. Essential fatty acids make up brain lipids, so they are necessary for normal fetal and baby brain formation.
- DHA helps to increase the body growth and vision of the baby.
- Essential fatty acids are combined with vitamin A to protect skin health and muscle tone.
- It helps to decrease bad cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol in the blood.
- Prevent coronary heart disease and stroke.
- DHA reduces inflammation in our bodies.
- Protect the brain from the deformity.
- DHA helps to keep children’s mental state normal.
- Increase the fertility of males and females.
- DHA can help reduce complications during pregnancy like preterm birth and low birth weight and enhance infants’ knowledge. So, the enormous advantages of DHA in our body.
Now, the question can arise how much DHA is needed and what happens if you take too much DHA during pregnancy. As per research studies, every essential element has its limit, and excessive intake can cause so many unwanted problems.
Too much DHA during pregnancy:
DHA is the most important and as well as essential nutrients during pregnancy for better brain development of the fetus. But too much DHA during pregnancy can cause several disturbances.
So it is advisable to take as per your doctor recommend for you and maintain your daily intake. As per a research study, excessive and too much, low consumption of DHA can harm offspring growth.
- Too much DHA during pregnancy can lead to presbycusis. In this condition, hearing loss gradually increases, mainly in old age.
- Too much DHA during pregnancy can induce the risk of neurological anomalies.
- Also, too much DHA during pregnancy can cause nutritional toxicity.
- Too much intake of fish oil can cause heartburn and nausea.
- Excessive intake can cause bad breath.
- Some studies concern extreme input can cause a decreased immune system.
DHA during pregnancy when to start?
DHA is the most fundamental supplement so, try to take this supplement as soon as possible and consult a doctor. Women can start taking an omega-3 as a supplement from 12 weeks of her pregnancy.
As per the research study (American Pregnancy Association), omega-three fatty acids are not integrated by our bodies. So, we have to intake other supplements.
According to some nutritionists, taking DHA along with pregnancy planning is very useful.
Best DHA supplement for pregnancy
1. Fishes contain a low amount of mercury are likely safe during pregnancy. Such as salmon, trout, herring, and halibut but take about 8-12 ounces /week.
2. For the mother, those are vegan or vegetarian or can’t tolerate fish during their pregnancy, and Algae is the best source of DHA during pregnancy. Wait, not all algae are safe; particular algae are safe and highly recommended by nutritionists.
3. Walnut is an excellent source of DHA and safe during pregnancy. You can consume up to 4 to 5 kernels daily means 2 to 3 walnut/day is the most beneficial.
4. Fish oil, fish oil mainly contain a high amount of omega 3 fatty acids and check the levels say mercury-free, toxins free. Such as Mums & Bumps Omega 3 Fish Oil Capsules.
5. Eggs: Egg contains omega 3 fatty acids.
6. Soybean and Soybean oil: Soybean is more likely safe as well as contains a high amount of DHA. Soybean or soybean oil can take both vegetarian and non-vegetarian mothers.
The most exciting thing is that you can eat while breastfeeding, and your baby also can eat soybean. Soybean oil and its seed can reduce LDL mean bad cholesterol in your body. 10 to 25 mg is considered secure throughout pregnancy.
For those who are allergic to soybean, avoid and consult with your doctor.
7. Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds contain all three ALA, DHA & EPA. A variety of health benefits present in flax seeds. About 1.8 gms of plant omega 3 present in one tablespoon of flaxseeds. Flax seeds can help to relieve pregnancy constipation due to its laxative properties. Control gestational diabetics.
8. Chia seed: Chia seeds are likely safe during pregnancy, but pregnancy varies from women to women. Hence, a lot of pregnant mothers consider as safe.
One ounce of Chia seeds contains five gms of omega3s. Do you know most of the chia seeds contain ALA? Besides this, chis seeds can maintain gestational diabetics.
Chia seeds help you by giving more energy during your pregnancy. But too much chia seeds consumption can cause diarrhea and stomach ache; those are allergic to chia seeds.
Please avoid and ask for a more alternative way to get DHA.
9. Kidney beans: Kidney beans also more likely safe during pregnancy. Kidney beans are high in antioxidants and maintain cholesterol. It can help to increase hemoglobin.
Although a meager amount of omega 3s present in kidney beans, it has several health benefits while you’re pregnant.
FAQs on too much DHA during pregnancy:
1. DHA pregnancy dose:
The usual dosage of DHA in pregnancy about 300mg/day. It should continue to breastfeeding or at least 6 months of ongoing breastfeeding. DHA is known to get secrets in the milk, which is very beneficial for a breastfeeding baby.
For omega3 fatty acids is 650mg, of which 300 mg is DHA. And it is advised that ask your doctor first how much amount to be safe during your pregnancy.
2. 1000 mg DHA during pregnancy:
300 mg /day is the optimal amount of DHA, and you don’t need a high amount like 1000mg DHA during pregnancy. Excessive intake can lead to neurological imbalance.
Anything in excessive use can not be suitable for our body. Hence, there is a specific limit for intake during your pregnancy.
The extra amount never gives benefits to you and your baby. It can cause allergic reactions that can cause diarrhea with stomach aches.
3. When to stop taking omega-3 in pregnancy?
Omega 3 is right for your health. It can help improve HDL and maintain cholesterol levels, keeps your heart healthy, Maintain sugar levels.
Omega 3 can take after your delivery and take when you’re breastfeeding but ask your doctor when to stop taking omega3 in pregnancy.
4. Is DHA necessary during pregnancy?
Some women have a question that is DHA necessary during pregnancy. And the answer is yes, it is.
The fundamental of DHA is the building block of the brain. Mean DHA is acting on your grey matter of the brain; the part is responsible for your memory, vision, learning skill, emotion, and so on.
If you do not interest in taking an extra supplement like a tablet or capsule, make sure you are intake at least your daily requirement of 300 mg by your diet.
Most mothers may be confused about the amount going on their body is right or low or high. So it wise decision that asks your doctor for a DHA supplement, which is non-toxic and mercury-free.
DHA does not only help you; it is mainly for the growing baby’s better and proper brain development. So it wise decision that asks your doctor for a DHA supplement, which is non-toxic and mercury-free.
5. Benefits of taking omega-3 in pregnancy:
Omega-3 is an essential polyunsaturated long-chain fatty acids. Omega3 mainly contains three major components that are DHA, EPA, and ALA. DHA (Dacosa hexanoic acid) and EPA ( eicosapentaenoic acid), and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid ).
DHA & EPA present in seafood and sea fish, whereas ALA generally presents in plant-based oil.
DHA and EPA act as anti-inflammatory cells. EPA has effects on blood clotting and cardiovascular benefits. DHA affects the brain and retina. ALA affects the immune cell.
Benefits of taking omega3 in pregnancy, such as :
- 1st help to improve and make a proper structure of the fetus’s brain.
- Improve brain functions of the unborn baby and children.
- Reduce or maintain gestational diabetes.
- Improve HDL levels.
- Reduce risks of stillbirth or preterm birth.
- Increase the visibility of the baby.
- Omega 3s can reduce pregnancy stress.
- DHA affects Alzheimer’s disease.
- ALA present in omega3 fatty acids has anti-inflammatory features.
- Most pregnant mothers suffer from obesity during their pregnancy; omega3 can reduce their liver fat.
Omega 3 can increase body metabolism.
- Omega 3s can enhance your sleep quality due to reduces of stress.
6. How much EPA during pregnancy?
At least 300 mg of EPA, including DHA is necessary, and 200 mg should be DHA.
7. How much DHA during pregnancy is too much:
200 mg is the least level of DHA each day. 1000 mg per day is too much DHA during pregnancy.
Our view on too much DHA during pregnancy:
Everything is vital for you during pregnancy and for your fetus to grow. Everything you eat at this time will have some good or bad effects.
The main thing to pay attention to at this time is the diet and how much nutrition your child is getting from the diet. Eat foods that help the baby grow and develop.
DHA is one of the best nutrients, which assesses the child’s mental development and well-being. Keeps the eyes healthy which, protects the baby from the very initial stage of development.
So all the time, soybeans, fish, and walnuts eat this kind of food on those days for baby. At the end of the day, whatever you eat, check if it is healthy to eat and always consult a doctor.
If you know more DHA sources and what happened if we take too much DHA during pregnancy, keep commenting.
Written By: Riya Paul ( Asst. Prof of Biotechnology)
Reviewed By: Saikat Bera ( Asst. Prof of Pharmacology)