January 2, 2007 [Early Epub]
Omega-3 fatty acid (dietary or in capsules) ensures that a woman’s adipose tissue contains a reserve of these fatty acids for the developing fetus and the breast-fed newborn infant.
This ensures the optimal cerebral and cognitive development of the infant.
The presence of large quantities of EPA and DHA in the diet slightly lengthens pregnancy, and improves its quality.
Conditions such as diabetes can alter the fatty acid profile of mother’s milk, while certain diets, like those of vegetarians, vegans, or even macrobiotic diets, can have the same effect, if they do not include seafood.
ALA [flaxseed oil, etc.], DHA and EPA, are important for preventing ischemic cardiovascular disease in women of all ages.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help to prevent the development of certain cancers, particularly those of the breast and colon, and possibly of the uterus and the skin, and are likely to reduce the risk of postpartum depression, manic-depressive psychosis, dementias (Alzheimer’s disease and others), hypertension, toxemia, diabetes and, to a certain extent, age-related macular degeneration.
Omega-3 fatty acids could play a positive role in the prevention of menstrual syndrome and postmenopausal hot flushes.
The normal western diet contains little ALA [flaxseed oil, etc.] (less than 50% of the RDA). The only adequate sources are rapeseed oil (canola), walnuts and so-called “omega-3” eggs (similar to wild-type or Cretan eggs).
The amounts of EPA and DHA in the diet vary greatly from person to person. The only good sources are fish and seafood, together with “omega-3” eggs.
Both the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic (LA, 18:2(n-6)) and the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA [flaxseed oil, etc.], 18:3(n-3)) are “physiologically essential.” [Important, ALA is physiologically essential]
Daily maternal supplementation of fish oil containing a DHA/EPA mixture is good for fetal development.
Eating fatty fish and taking fish oil capsules increases the DHA in maternal milk.
Eating eggs enriched in omega-3 fatty acids also increases the amounts of ALA [flaxseed oil, etc.] and DHA in mother’s milk.
The omega-3 index of EPA + DHA concentration in erythrocytes is an indicator of ardiovascular risk.”Hundreds of publications describing studies on animals and humans have shown how effective omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil [through supplementation] are at preventing ischemic cardiovascular disease and cerebral infarcts.”Assuming ALA [flaxseed oil, etc.] intake is sufficient, newborn babies can only in small quantities convert ALA to DHA, and therefore DHA is considered an essential nutrient for babies.
In most Western countries, 90% of the women are deficient in DHA.
People who eat no animal lipids are very deficient in DHA.
ALA Alpha-linolenic acid, plant derived 18-carbon long omega-3 fatty acid. Primarily from flaxseed (linseed), walnut, and hemp oils.EPA Eicosapentaenoic acid, animal derived 20-carbon long omega-3 fatty acid. Primarily from cold-water fatty fish.DHA Docosahexaenoic acid, 22-carbon long omega-3 fatty acid. Primarily from cold-water fatty fish. There are vegetarian sources (algae) for DHA.
Adequate maternal omega-3 fatty acid intake “ensures the optimal cerebral and cognitive development of the infant.”
Eating fatty fish, taking fish oil capsules and eating omega-3 eggs increases the DHA in maternal milk.
Fish consumption reduces the risk of breast cancer.
Assuming ALA [flaxseed oil, etc.] intake is sufficient, newborn babies can only in small quantities convert ALA to DHA, and therefore DHA is considered an essential nutrient for babies. [Important for strict vegetarians.]