Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Fertility

Omega 3 fatty acids for your fertility and your baby’s health.

These essential fats, composed of EPA and DHA have a profound effect on every system of the body, including the reproductive system, and they are crucial for healthy hormone functioning. It is important to have a plentiful supply of essential fatty acids before becoming pregnant and to continue to eat fatty fish 3 times a week or take fish oil supplements during pregnancy to maintain optimal health.

Fertility. Omega-3 acids have been shown to help fertility by aiding in hormonal regulation in the body, which promotes healthy cervical mucous production, and regular ovulation. It can improve the quality of the uterus by increasing the blood flow to the reproductive organs, and decreases inflammatory problems such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and ovarian cysts. In men, it supports proper sperm production. Semen is rich in prostaglandins which are produced from these fats. Men with poor sperm quality, abnormal sperm, poor motility or low count, have inadequate levels of these beneficial prostaglandins.

Babies. If your diet contains enough omega-3 EFAs, your baby’s needed supply will pass easily through the placenta. For baby, EPA is necessary to grow a healthy circulatory system. DHA is important to support proper formation of a healthy nervous system, brain, eyes and heart, and to prevent premature birth, low birth weight and hyperactivity in children. An interesting study (Child Development, Vol. 75, No. 4) compared 2 groups of baby’s cognitive abilities at birth, 4, 8, 12 and 18 months of age. The babies with high DHA levels from birth onwards had enhanced attention span and cognitive function.

How to choose a good fish oil. Check the amounts of EPA and DHA. The higher the better. Cheap oils are cheap for a reason, quality control costs money, making a good fish oil is unfortunately an expensive purchase. A 2014 Australasian study found only 3 of the 32 fish oil capsules they tested contained the same or higher amount of the EPA and DHA declared on their labels. They also discovered worryingly high levels of oxidisation (think rancid) – not healthy!

I recommended. In my clinic I provide what I believe is one of the best available Omega 3 supplement in NZ. I choose Orthoplex’s BioActive Lipids because of its high strength (EPA360/DHA240) and purity. It is also a good price at $89.20 for 60 days (240 capsules).