So my wife was given some supplements from the nurse (trial boxes) and told that she should take these and stop taking any regular DHA supplementation (I know she possibly needs the folic acid, but that's a separate discussion). Anyhow the purported benefits (vs. fish-oil for example) according to the nurse were that:
I was kind of confused on both points since (1) from my understanding fish oils or cod liver oil supply a better from of DHA (when in triglyceride form) and (2) good fish oils (pharmaceutical grade) don't even have the purported burp-back which from my understanding is just a sign the molecules have been damaged through heat exposure etc. Furthermore, I also believe EPA (not just DHA) might have healthful benefits as well . I'm also a little concerned also about spirulina itself . Maybe just my incorrect gut feeling, but it seems like a trendy "health" food that hasn't really been studied extensively.
Has anyone on Paleo-style, Low-Carb diet (and pregnant) had experience with DHA/EPA supplementation? Consider that my wife gets plenty of grass fed meats, fish 1-2 times week, pasture butters, eggs high in high in DHA, etc. Could the added supplementation be too much? If not, any recommendation on the best source of supplementation?
I've taken a food-based prenatal multi-vitamin plus fermented cod liver oil and butter oil throughout my pregnancy. I also eat a good amount of fish, shellfish, grass-fed beef, liver, butter, pastured eggs, raw dairy, etc. I avoided those trial boxes of prescription prenatals like the plague - they have icky ingredients like artificial colors. No thanks!
I do take extra folate because I have a genetic mutation that interferes with my metabolism of folic acid.
If you have a good diet, than I don't think there is any reason to supplement DHA. If I did supplement DHA though, I would use the algal stuff just because genetically I have a mutation on rs174537 (which I share with 10% of caucasians, it's also more common in Mexicans), which possibly explains why I do poorly on fish oil, because the EPA inhibits arachidonic acid metabolism more than it would for normal people. I get the appropriate amount of DHA and EPA from my diet, from small amounts of fish and good amounts of grass-fed meat.
Sounds like your wife will get plenty of DHA from her diet.
I recommend Neptune Krill Oil to my pregnant clients who need a bit extra. Or on weeks when they don't feel like eating fish.
Just a bit of caution, if she chooses to use CLO. If she is also eating liver regularly, it is easy to get too much A. Excessive A can be especially toxic in pregnancy.
Liver OR CLO, (but not both) is what I recommend.
I'm pregnant and I don't always get fish 1-2 times every week, so I take a fish oil supplement every day as insurance. Chris Kresser of the Healthy Baby Code recommends fermented cod liver oil daily on top of weekly fish consumption. I'm not concerned about getting too much DHA/EPA, and if your wife is consuming fish a few times a week my gut is that she shouldn't be concerned either. My midwife recommends a prenatal plus fish oil supplementation, so I'm currently taking the New Chapter Perfect Prenatal and Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Fish Oil pills (plus some other supplements recommended by my midwife).
If she was vegan and refused any other DHA/EPA supplements I'd say this is the way to go, studies in rats do show that is crosses the blood-brain barrier and can help build brain tissue in the pup. But, if she eats animal sources of DHA/EPA already, I don't see why "vegetarian" formula would be a selling point.
Hits me the wrong way at the gut level too, we evolved to eat the things further up the food chain who have transformed the lower organisms into more bio-available packets for our digestive tract. Why do an unprecedented experiment on your child just to avoid fish burps? Unless you are married to a small crustacean instead of a woman, I'd stick with the fish and animal sources.
If it is spirulina (blue-green algae) based I'd avoid it like the plague too, there have been too many contamination issues, and the beta-methyl-amino-alanine (BMAA) found in many samples has been implicated in early onset dementia (roughly 10 years after any extended exposure, regardless of age).
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