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Pregnany Care

Is It Safe To Take “EPA” In Pregnancy?


Moms-to-be need to supplement DHA, which is well known. The AMERICAN PREGNANCY ASSOCIATION recommended that pregnant women should have a daily DHA intake of no less than 300 mg to meet their baby’s development needs. However, nowadays, due to too many sources of pollution, the accumulation of heavy metals, environmental toxins, animal drugs in fish has multiplied. If you eat fish every day, you might put yourself and your unborn baby’s health at risk.

Another topic that is often debated on the Internet – “Should pregnant women take EPA or not?”. Rumor has it that taking EPA could lead to some negative effect. The fact is EPA itself is not risky for pregnant women at all. In Taiwan, some manufacturers used such information to manipulate, obfuscate and mislead consumers, EPA has been rumored to be a bad nutrient for pregnant women. The most correct theory is: 100% of pregnant women need EPA, but need to control the intake of EPA. Taking EPA has many positive effects on pregnant women and fetuses; this part has been confirmed by many clinical studies. Nowadays, many medical professionals, including well-known obstetricians and gynecologists, who have all recommended EPA could be taken during pregnancy until delivery, and proved it’s riskless to pregnant women.

Here are our recommendations for pregnant women:

1). Take fish oil containing a small amount of EPA, and the DHA content is recommended to be more than 300 mg.
2). Do not take only DHA-containing algae oil, because DHA is insufficient for pregnant women and fetuses. Only 4%-11% of DHA in the body can be converted to EPA, which is not enough to provide the daily needs for pregnant women.
3). Select fish oil wisely. Choose fish oil has fair inspection reports, especially for freshness, heavy metals, environmental toxins, and microbiological tests.
4). It is good to have a good third-party agency to recommend the brand; it’s another kind of quality assurance.
5). Small size capsules of fish oil are more suitable for pregnant women and women to swallow.


– James A Greenberg, MD, Stacey J Bell, DSc, RD, and Wendy Van Ausdal. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation During Pregnancy. Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Fall; 1(4): 162–169.
– Larqué E, Krauss-Etschmann S. Docosahexaenoic acid supply in pregnancy affects placental expression of fatty acid transport proteins. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Oct; 84(4): 853-61.
– Jensen CL. Effects of n-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jun; 83(6 Suppl): 1452S-1457S.


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