Role of omega 3-fatty acids and multivitamins in gestation

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There is a rising interest in a balanced and varied women's diet not only preconceptionally but also during pregnancy and in the breastfeeding period in order to reduce fetal, neonatal, and maternal risks. A decreased intake of omega 3-fatty acids (FA) or deficiencies of micronutrients are a global health problem, not only in developing countries, where micronutrient-rich food and fortified aliments are often not available, and also in the industrialized world. In contrast to data about the daily periconceptionally intake of folate acid that has been shown to reduce substantially the occurrence and recurrence of neural tube defects (NTD), the benefit of other micronutrients is less determinant. Deficiencies of omega 3-FA may be a contributing factor for severe complications in pregnancy and postpartum. A meta-analysis for the role of omega 3-FA in preeclamp-sia and maternal postpartum depression is less consistent, some meta-view's results differ substantially or are even contradictory to large observational studies. Further well-designed studies are warranted. A personal interview and counseling concerning the daily diet should be integrated in the preconceptional and in the antenatal care and an individual supplementation should be offered, if indicated.

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