Omega-3s are essential for pregnant women

Omega-3s are essential for pregnant women

Omega-3 fatty acids have a variety of benefits, but chief among them is the essential role they play in a baby's brain development. Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers are often told to get more omega-3s in their diet for their baby's health, but a recent study from Tohoku University's School of Medicine in Japan found that an omega-3 deficiency in pregnancy can permanently impact an infant's cognition.

The Japanese study, which was published in the journal Stem Cells, looked at how different levels of omega-6 and omega-3 affected the developing fetuses of rats. Because omega 3 and 6 fatty acids cannot be produced by the body, they must be absorbed through diet. Most Americans tend to be deficient in omega-3s because they're found almost exclusively in fish. To mimic this common diet, the researchers separated the pregnant rats into two different groups: one that would have a diet higher in omega-6 than 3, and the other that would have a balance of both.

They found that the offspring from the first group had significantly smaller brains than the offspring from the second group, suggesting stunted brain development. They also found how the dietary imbalance affected emotional behavior, with the rats developing anxiety in adulthood despite being fed a healthy diet throughout life after birth. The researchers concluded that a low level of omega-3s can impact a baby's brain development in a way that can't be reversed. They attributed this result to the metabolites of omega oils, which regulate the neural stem cells that become brain cells. Because of that early intervention, neural stem cells in rats that did not get enough omega-3s grew too rapidly for healthy brain development.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that pregnant mothers eat 8 to 12 ounces of fish or other omega-3 rich foods per week. The highest levels of omegas 3, 6 and 9 are found in Seagreens Pelvetia species. For a product that is 100 percent Pelvetia, try Seagreens Salad & Condiment. Every Seagreens product contains all the minerals, micronutrients, trace elements and vitamins that can be found in all-natural, organic seaweed. Seagreens organic wild wrack seaweeds are produced to the company's award-winning proprietary standard (patents pending) among Scotland's remote Western Islands in pristine Grade A waters. All Seagreens products are organic, kosher and certified free from allergens and contaminants.

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