DHA is the most important structural fatty acid in brain and eye. Daily some 75 mg DHA are pumped across the placenta to build up the fetus’ brain and eyes in the last three months of pregnancy at the mothers expense (Brenna u. Carlson, 2014). Specific proteins in the placenta actively and selectively transport DHA (Dunstan et al, 2004, Larqué et al, 2011). According to in vivo kinetics, this transport of DHA is regulated, so that DHA will reach approximately 9% in fetal erythrocytes, with EPA accounting for another 1.5 to 2.5% (Dunstan et al, 2004). Many scientific societies recommend a daily intake of at least 200 mg DHA during pregnancy (http://www.dge.de/wissenschaft/referenzwerte/fett/; Koletzko et al 2008). The recommendation supports an adequate brain structure, and adequate complex brain function (details below). The scientific societies recommend to diagnose deficits in nutrition early in pregnancy and act upon the results.
According to our measurements, more than 75% of the population have a HS-Omega-3 Index below the target range of 8 – 11% (von Schacky, 2014), which also applies to pregnant women. Therefore, we think that the HS-Omega-3 Index should be determined before or early in pregnancy, in order to detect a deficit in EPA and/or DHA. There is a substantial body of evidence demonstrating that pregnancies without a deficit in EPA and/or DHA have a better course and a better outcome for mother and child. This body of evidence is based on randomized intervention trials with EPA and/or DHA in pregnant women, and will be briefly presented here.