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Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Omega-3's: Good for the Brain and Heart

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I am in my final 4 weeks of pregnancy and I have been asked many times which supplements to take while pregnant.

I take the following:
  • Prenatal vitamin. I take Pharmanex Lifepak Prenatal. Contact me for more info on it.
  • 1000 IU Vitamin D. I take that in addition to what is in my prenatal.
  • 1000 mg Omega 3. A 3:1 ratio (or higher) of DHA:EPA is ideal.
Most people know about the need for the prenatal vitamin and Vitamin D has been in the press a lot lately with experts recommending pretty much everyone needs more.

I have written many times about the benefits of omega-3's. I feel very strongly that everyone should be on at least 1000 mg of omega-3's from DHA and EPA. The best source of DHA and EPA is fish. You can find it in algae if you are a vegetarian. ALA (found in flax, canola oil, and walnuts) is not the same, although it is still good and is considered an essential fatty acid.

A reminder of the benefits of omega-3s:
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce triglycerides (some people take 3000 mg or more to lower TG. Check with your MD)
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Protect the brain against memory loss, depression, and maybe anxiety
  • May reduce joint pain associated with arthritis

But the biggest reason I am taking 1000 mg of DHA/EPA right now is the role of specifically DHA in brain development. In fact, a very interesting study in the journal Pediatrics found that children who were born to mothers who had taken a DHA supplement during pregnancy had significantly higher scores on intelligence tests than children whose mothers were not supplemented. If you want a brilliant child (who doesn't?), then taking 1000 mg (or more) of DHA+EPA is key during pregnancy and especially while breastfeeding.

Worried about fish burps? This is a big concern for everyone, but especially women who are already nauseous or having reflux problems throughout the pregnancy.

My number one pick for a "fish burp-less" (is that a proper term???) Omega-3 is VitalOils1000. I just recently discovered these and LOVE THEM! I was taking 4 pills of my other omega-3 and even though it was a very high quality fish oil, I was still occasionally getting the fish burps.

VitalOils1000:
  • Enteric coated and molecularly distilled
  • 1000 mg of DHA+EPA Omega 3 in ONE PILL with a 3:1 ratio of DHA:EPA
  • You don't need a prescription, but it is prescription grade
  • Small amounts of rosemary extract and Vitamin C to prevent rancidity and oxidation
  • Individual blister pack to protect the oils and keep them fresh (no smell at all!)
  • Developed by a leading cardiologist
To purchase, go to www.vitaloils1000.com.
You can also get them at www.vitalremedymd.com
VitalRemedyMD.com has other supplements like Vitamin D, Joint Formula, StatinGuard (CoQ10 plus others for people on statin lipid lowering meds), Antioxidant Balance, Daily Multiples (with 100% of calcium), and more!

Check with your doctor before starting an omega-3 supplement if you are on any blood thinning medications (Coumadin) or clotting disorders.
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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