Updated Australian Pregnancy Guidelines Include Omega-3 Recommendation

February 10, 2021: The Australian Pregnancy Care Guidelines have been updatedto include the following evidence-based recommendation: “Advise pregnant women that supplementation with omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (800 mg DHA docosahexaenoic acid and 100 mg EPA eicosapentaenoic acid per day) may reduce their risk of preterm birth, if they are low in omega-3.” This recommendation was approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in November 2020 and expires in November 2025. It is worth noting that this recommendation is significantly higher than the 110-115 mg/day of EPA+DHA+DPA included in the 2006 Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand

The substantiation for the new recommendation is summarized in Chapter 11, Nutrition and Physical Activity, and includes references to publications on which GOED previously reported:November 16, 2018September 13, 2019February 17, 2020 While a number of expert scientific organizations and governments recommend EPA/DHA for pregnant women, the recommendations are generally much lower than the current evidence suggests is necessary to reduce the risk of preterm birth. For example, on multiple occasions, GOED brought to the attention of the United States Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee the evidence used as the basis for the Australian recommendation. Unfortunately, the Committee failed to evaluate the evidence and as a result no advice was provided in the Committee’s report, which provided recommendations for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
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