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The benefits of DHA and Omega 3 have been making news for the past decade for all stages of reproduction, from preparing for conception, through to pregnancy and immediately after the birth.It is especially important for the development of your baby's brain and nervous system as well as in the manufacture of healthy sperm. Both partners should think about building their reserves prior to conception. If you are already pregnant, it is well worth starting at any time during pregnancy, whether or not you have considered taking supplemental DHA before you conceived. It can be particularly important as your baby is entirely reliant on your supply of DHA.
Vital DHA is an essential fatty acid containing DHA and GLA. Essential fatty acids are very important for female fertility, helping hormone balance and egg production, and for male fertility too, as they are thought to help with the manufacture of healthy sperm.
We strongly recommend that all couples should consider DHA supplementation during their preparation for conception and that women should continue with this through pregnancy and in the months following birth. Research has associated optimal foetal and infant development with the availability of sufficient levels of fatty acids in the mother's diet.
VitalDHA can be used by itself, should you so wish. Or it can be used as a companion product alongside our super-premium range (Vitamen and Vitafem, Vital Essence and ReVital Essence) or alongside our new, lower-priced, good value multi-stage multivitamin, Pregnancy Plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of taking both Vitafem or Pregnancy Plan and Vital DHA?
VitalDHA will help with hormone balance and egg production for conception as well as increasing your reserves of DHA to the benefit of your growing baby when you become pregnant.
Why should I take a supplement when I can take DHA from fatty fish?
It is sensible to incorporate fatty fish into your diet if you can. However, you would have to eat an awful lot of it to get the equivalent dosages delivered by the supplement. Unfortunately, as you may be aware, the FSA (Food Standards Agency) has recently had to warn women who are pregnant, or who are trying to get pregnant, to restrict their consumption of fresh tuna (the most popular of the oily fishes in the modern diet) due to concerns over the high levels of mercury found in some tuna fished from contaminated waters. VitalDHA is produced from refined tuna oil (using a process which removes any possible pollutants) and is biochemically screened for extra safety too.
How long in advance should I be taking Vital DHA?
We recommend that both men and women should ideally start to take a DHA supplement three to four months in advance of trying to conceive; but it is still worthwhile starting at any time prior to conception for couples, or during pregnancy for women. 8 out of 10 women enter pregnancy deficient in this essential fatty acid. It is important to take some form of DHA supplementation so that you can build your reserves for your developing baby. DHA supplementation has an important role to play for men too. It is thought that over 40% of cases of sub-fertility or infertility are now due to male factor problems (such as low quality sperm or low sperm motility) where deficiencies in DHA may be a contributory influence.
Why is DHA going to be the next Folic Acid?
The benefits of taking folic acid are now widely known, particularly its role in minimising the chance of anomalies with babies’ spines. And DHA is starting to get lots of recognition and press as well. A good maternal supply of DHA is crucial throughout pregnancy, particularly during the first 12-16 weeks of pregnancy when your baby’s brain and nervous systems are starting to develop. It's important during the third trimester too (28 - 40 weeks) as this is when maximum brain development occurs. 70% of the nourishment your baby consumes during this period goes towards it.
How does vital DHA help with sperm count?
Most of the nutrients necessary for female fertility are equally vital for male fertility. Semen is rich in prostaglandins. These are derived from essential fatty acids. In animal studies, diets deficient in these essential fatty acids reduce sperm production.
Why should I take Vital DHA with VitaMen?
The combination of the two supplements will help to provide you with the key nutrients necessary for optimal sperm health.
Is there an RDA for DHA?
No, but research shows 700 – 1000mg per day is what is needed to maximise this vital nutrient for your baby.
Is it possible to overdose on DHA?
It is best to maintain the recommended dosage on the product. 2 capsules provides 300mg of DHA per day.
How do I know DHA is safe to use during pregnancy?
Health experts around the world now agree on the importance of DHA both during pregnancy and the post-natal period.
I have read about fish oil being contaminated in the sea.
Vital DHA is produced from tuna and fish oils sourced from the clean waters of the Central South Pacific using only dolphin friendly techniques to harvest the fish. The product is made from highly refined oils (using a process which removes any possible pollutants) and is biochemically screened for extra safety too, so there is no risk of contamination. Given the concerns that have been raised about excess levels of mercury in fresh tuna and the risks this could pose for women who are trying to get pregnant or who are pregnant, there is all the more reason to consider using a good DHA supplement to cover your nutritional needs during this critical period.
What makes Vital DHA different from other fish oil products on the market?
Tuna oil is the richest natural sauce of DHA. It also contains other LCP (long chain poly-unsaturates) which have important biological activities in their own right - EPA AND AA. It also contains GLA, another important essential fatty acid. The combination of all of these together gives you and your baby the best possible start.
Are there any other benefits from taking Vital DHA?
DHA is fantastic for promoting lots of bodily functions. It is thought to be good for skin, for memory and for eye sight, as well as for wound healing, Alzheimer’s, and for children with attention deficit disorder and dyslexia. Zita still takes VitalDHA every day, and her youngest child is now twenty!
I am very forgetful in pregnancy. Can DHA help?
Your growing baby cannot manufacture his or her own DHA, so he or she has to rely on your diet and your sources. In all likelihood this will be from your richest source - your brain. So far as we know there is no research to link memory loss directly with depleted levels of DHA, but it certainly seems possible that DHA deficiency may be an underlying cause.
All Zita West nutritional products have been approved by the HFMA (Health Food Manufacturers' Association) and have been formulated in accordance with Department of Health guidelines.