The important role of omega 3 fish oils in fertility and conception

By Sue Bedford MSc (Nutritional Therapy)

The typical intake of omega-6 in western countries is high, and the ratio of the omega-6 vs omega-3 fatty acids in the UK are now thought to be greater than 10:1 and even as high as 25:1 in some adult diets. In years gone by, the omega-6: omega-3 ratio dietary intake of primitive man was closer to 1:1.

There are three main omega 3 fatty acids

These are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

When it comes to fertility, Omega-3 fatty acids are important in ovulation, male sperm count/motility and DNA, conception and embryo development.

So how can omega 3 help with female fertility?

• Increases the blood flow to the uterus
• Regulate monthly cycles and reducing inflammation
• During pregnancy- brain and retina development
• Helps to prevent pre-eclampsia and postnatal depression

For male fertility, Omega 3 is equally as important

• Sperm membrane composition and integrity
• Increase sperm count
• Improve motility and morphology
• Reduce damage to sperm DNA

So what are the foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids?

• Oily fish – anchovies, herring, sardines, salmon, trout, and mackerel
• Spirulina
• Walnuts
• Eggs
• Flax
• Fresh basil
• Leafy dark green vegetables, such as spinach

Visit here to find out more about nutrition and some fantastic recipes including omega 3 filled fishcakes

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