Prenatal DHA Review (UPDATED 2018) – Is It Safe?

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AVG Rating: 2.7/10

There are many Prenatal DHA brands but they often focus on the exact same ingredients, fish oil rich omega-3 fatty acids. The blends aren’t necessarily bad but they’re limited and it’s only used for expecting mothers.

Here’s a great review of Prenatal DHA and what it can offer.

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Prenatal DHA Overview

Prenatal DHA is a brain and eye health enhancing supplement meant for pregnant mothers who are looking to improve their developing baby’s health. There are many types of companies which make seral brands under this label, and it’s often based off of fish oil and sometimes vitamin D.

The only major problem we found is that even though fatty acids are great for general health, taking it to improve a child’s developing brain so far has shown no proven clinical results.

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Prenatal DHA Claims

Claims can vary depending on the brand, but typically a Prenatal DHA supplement is meant for:

  • Improving immune health
  • Supporting a child’s developing brain

The belief is that because omega-3 fatty acids are backed by great proof, that a mother taking this will affect a baby’s development. It seems scientific since what a mother eats will provide nutrients for the baby, but many of these companies will fail to provide anything but claims.

Typically brands will focus on making their fish oil extract as pure as possible, limit the possibility for heavy lead contamination. Mercury is a major concern for fish but the major brands we looked at all confirmed that they do studies to ensure the levels are safe enough.

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Prenatal DHA Ingredients

The ingredients will vary depending on where you get it from, but they often add some of the following:

  • Vitamin D3
  • DHA
  • EPA

Vitamin D3 is also known as cholecalciferol and it is an essential vitamin that is made when sunlight hits the skin, and it’s also found in many kinds of seafood. This is important for regulating nutrient absorption, for supporting healthy bones, improving mod, and for many other essential body functions.

DHA is an important fatty acid which can affect skin, eye, and brain health. This can also reduce inflammation, and it can aid cardiovascular health. This is partially useful of developing brains, and it can help infants become more intelligent.

EPA is an effective omga-3 fatty acid which can improve brain health and reduce cellular inflammation. This is sometime supplemented by people who need help regulating brain trauma and depression.

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The Science Behind Prenatal DHA

There is a lot of valid science which supports the use of the ingredients. Omega-3 fatty acids are great ways to boost overall brain health, and it can also offer many other health benefits. This is why many nootropic brands offer both DHA and EPA; they are shown to work in various reliable studies.

The problem is that Prenatal DHA is made specifically for growing children, and studies on this are lacking. A clinical study held in Adelaide, Australia which was published on JAMA said that after a seven year follow up results did not show benefits. This concluded with the fact there was:

“no benefit… in general intelligence… execute functioning”

They basically said that pregnant mothers who took Prenatal DHA failed to see the benefits extend to their children.

This may have an impact on a mother’s health; the science does not look promising for developing infants.

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Word on the Street About Prenatal DHA

“no fish burps and easy to swallow”

“Good source of DHA”

“Really good for what I needed it for”

“Big fan”

The problem with many of these reviews is that they fail to mention how the child developed. It’s highly unlikely that the people who took this supplement had any studies performed to verify that their children’s brains had a statistically proven benefit.

It’s hard to see much of a value in these supplements since there would need to be a great follow up. Luckily, there were many who felt that no matter the brand, the pills were easy to take and rarely were there ever any side effects. Often mothers wouldn’t provide much information, but on average experiences were positive.

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Is Prenatal DHA Worth a Try?

If the intended purpose is improving a child’s brain, the studies show this is not yet an effective method in doing so. The idea seems really simple, taking a supplement which is proven good for developed humans seems like it would affect a developing child.

The concern is that the major studies performed on this show it delivers no benefit. DHA and EPA are both great ingredients often added to all types of Prenatal DHA brands, but it’s not shown to actually deliver on the main intended benefit.

Most brands also only use a blend of fish oil and vitamin D3, which is fairly common to many kinds of simple nootropic formulas.

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Prenatal DHA vs Fish Oil

Technically Fish Oil is often already added to Prenatal DHA, but Prenatal DHA is targeted more for mothers who are expecting. The only difference that may be is the dosage strength but in reviewing many brands, often there was more fatty acid variety in fish oil. It’s impossible to say what the proper dosage strength would be however, as it can range depending on the person.

Prenatal DHA vs DHA

A DHA supplement would only offer a certain kind of omga-3 fatty acid. It would not offer the full support that a mixed supplement may have. DHA is good for brain health, but it’s also just half the value of a rich EPA and DHA blend. This is also dependent on where you get it from, since there are many sources for DHA including meat, algae and all types of seafood.

Prenatal DHA FAQ

  1. What is the best Prenatal DHA?
    It’s impossible to say because it depends more on what your specific purpose is.
  1. What are some Prenatal DHA benefits?
    This does have fatty acids in it which can affect brain development, mood, and overall cognition.
  1. Does Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA have folic acid?
    They don’t appear to currently make a brand with added folic acid.
  1. What are some Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA reviews?
    The reviews were mostly positive as people said they were easy to take.
  1. What are some common Prenatal DHA supplements?
    There is Nordic Naturals, Honest Co. and many other brands.
  1. Is there any worry of mercury in Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA?
    There is always mercury in all kinds of fish oil products, but the amount is regulate and kept low.
  1. Can I find Prenatal DHA at Whole Foods?
    Yes, they offer different brands which make Prenatal DHA.
  1. Are there Prenatal DHA gummies?
    A few companies make gummies for kids.
  1. Can I find Prenatal DHA at Walmart?
    Some brands are offered at Walmart.
  1. Is there a Prenatal DHA by Nature Made?
    Yes they do make and offer a brand.
  1. Can I get Prenatal DHA at Target?
    Depending on the brand you’re looking for, they do offer some Prenatal DHA products.
  1. Is there any Prenatal DHA with vitamins?
    Some brands do have added vitamins within them such as Nordic Naturals, Nature Made and Rainbow Light.

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