DHA Supplementation May Provide Heart Health Benefits to Pregnant Women
Supplementation with the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is recommended during pregnancy as it is one of the building blocks of a baby’s brain and retina. Now a new study has found that supplementation with DHA during pregnancy may also provide heart health benefits to the mother.
Participants in the study included 300 women who were between 12 and 20 weeks into their pregnancy at the beginning of the study. They received 200 mg or 800 mg of DHA daily for the rest of their pregnancy. The researchers measured heart rate and heart rate variability (fluctuations in the amount of time between heartbeats) at 32 and 36 weeks of their pregnancy.
Participants in the 800 mg DHA group had lower heart rates compared to those in the 200 mg group. Lower heart rate usually correlates with more efficient heart function. They also had higher vagally-mediated heart rate variability indices and greater heart rate variability complexity, which indicate a balanced nervous system and optimal performance of the body.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Kansas Medical Center. It was published online ahead of print on August 11, 2022 in the Journal of Nutrition.
A previous study found that probiotics may help reduce nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.