New and expecting mothers alike choose nutritional pregnancy supplements to ensure optimum health for themselves and their babies. Recent evidence is showing how two nutrients, in particular, are important.
Fish oil in allergies and brain health
Oily fish is a rich source DHA and EPA, two fatty acids that are used by the body for a range of important functions including brain health, heart health and vision. One of the most researched nutritional supplements available, fish oil may also be one of the most important pregnancy supplements.
Fish oil during pregnancy may reduce the risk of childhood allergic conditions, according to a recent study from Imperial College, London. The study showed that when women took fish oil supplements during pregnancy and breast feeding, egg allergy was reduced by 30% while peanut allergy was reduced by 38% (1). Researchers believe that omega 3 supplements help regulate the immune system, preventing it from causing allergic reactions so easily. The study is one of the largest recent reports and includes over 1.5 million people.
Omega 3 from fish oil contributes to a healthy brain, and a recent study shows that this benefit can be passed from mother to infant. In a 2018 trial published in Nutrients, a mother's DHA status was found to be significantly associated with elevated problem-solving skills in 12 month-old infants (2).
Omega 3 fish oil supplements from Pharma Nord are screened for heavy metals and is vitamin A free, making it a perfect choice for expecting and breast feeding mums.
The sunshine vitamin
A new report from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) suggests that breast feeding mothers should consider taking vitamin D supplements, as 6% of infants are born at risk of vitamin D deficiency (3). Vitamin D deficiency elevates risk of various disease states including the soft bone disorder, rickets making it one of the key pre pregnancy vitamins to take. Other research this year published in Paediatric Obesity found a link between vitamin D during pregnancy and childhood obesity. Children born of mothers with low vitamin D status had elevated body fat percentages compared to those with adequate vitamin D (4).
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient and one that's essential for many facets of human health. The body produces vitamin D provided there is an adequate amount of UVB light from sun exposure. This is a challenging task however and recent evidence estimates that almost 1 billion individuals worldwide may have insufficient or deficient levels of vitamin D, due to inadequate sun exposure in darker regions such as UK/Europe. Regular sunscreen use is also considered a factor (5).
Vitamin D3 supplements from Pharma Nord comes in small, easy to swallow pearls produced to pharmaceutical standards. They contain oil for optimum absorption and use the D3 form of the vitamin, shown to be better used by the body compared to D2.
1. Garcia-Larsen V, Ierodiakonou D, Jarrold K, Cunha S, Chivinge J, Robinson Z et al. Diet during pregnancy and infancy and risk of allergic or autoimmune disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLOS Medicine. 2018;15(2):e1002507.
2. Braarud H, Markhus M, Skotheim S, Stormark K, Frøyland L, Graff I et al. Maternal DHA Status during Pregnancy Has a Positive Impact on Infant Problem Solving: A Norwegian Prospective Observation Study. Nutrients. 2018;10(5):529.
3. Feeding in the First Year [Internet]. Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk. 2018 [cited 23 July 2018] Available here
4. Daraki V, Roumeliotaki T, Chalkiadaki G, Katrinaki M, Karachaliou M, Leventakou V et al. Low maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy increases the risk of childhood obesity. Pediatric Obesity. 2018;
5. Majeed H, Moore G. Impact of Multidecadal Climate Variability on United Kingdom Rickets Rates. Scientific Reports. 2017;7(1).