Before choosing an omega-3 supplement, it is advisable to read the points below. In case of doubt or to verify whether an omega-3 supplement is indicated, consult a healthcare professional.
- Health Canada recommends making sure that a valid natural product number (NPN) appears on the product label. The NPN confirms that the product manufacturing method has been approved and that its use is safe.
- Do not exceed the dosage (amount of drug prescribed) recommended by the manufacturer, in order to minimize the intake of potential contaminants. The International Fish Oil Standard provides a list of products that meet certain criteria of purity.
- Because in Canada omega-6 is abundant in the diet, a supplement containing primarily omega-3 is recommended. The combination of Omega 3-6-9 does not provide the desired benefits.
- Avoid taking cod liver oil or other omega-3 supplements containing vitamin A, especially if the pregnant woman is already taking a multivitamin that contains vitamin A. Too high a dose of this vitamin can affect fetal development.
- Favor a supplement with omega-3 in the form of EPA and DHA rather than in the form of ALA. It is the total of EPA and DHA that is important.
To learn whether an omega-3 supplement during pregnancy is necessary, see the following article.