Consumer Questions

The vast ocean of Omega-3 information available to consumers today can be overwhelming and unless you are a scientist it’s tough to decipher the studies that have been published. Because of this, understanding the true benefits of using a supplement that have specific nutrients like DPA, DHA, and EPA can become somewhat difficult to grasp… That’s why Mother to Mother Nutrients has made it our goal to ensure the information we provide you is always easy to understand! Did you know… that breast milk naturally contains DHA and DPA? One of the lesser well-known long-chain Omega-3s DPA is found in only a small amount of the diet. DPA is one of the most critical Omega-3s. WHY? DPA can be converted into either DHA or EPA depending on which one your body needs more. Below you will find all of the information you need to fully understand the benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and discover the importance of adding an Omega-3 with DPA, DHA, and EPA to your diet.

Frequently Asked Questions and Expert Advice

Mother to Mother Nutrients wants to keep you informed! We will continue to provide information related to women’s health, mother’s health, and her babies health, and will update our FAQs page as more questions arise. To see the questions and answers to some of our most frequently asked questions by women and mothers, click on the Our Product FAQ tab. If you do not see the information you are looking for please email us. We are happy to answer any questions you have.

Partnering with Industry Leaders to Provide Education Related to Health and Wellness for Women and Mothers

Mother to Mother Nutrients is committed to being an active partner in the health and wellness dialogue for women and mothers worldwide. We will continually reach out to leaders in the health and wellness industry, including scientists and physicians to help further our goal of educating women. In line with our mission, vision, and values, we will continually provide women and mothers with valuable information related to the health of women, mothers, and their babies, which is why we work with industry leaders who share our goals.

The Science behind Omega-3s

To see the questions and answers to some of our most frequently asked questions by women and mothers from an experts viewpoint, click on the Expert Advice tab. Dr. Douglas M. Bibus, MS, PhD. answers some of our most frequently asked questions regarding Omega-3s. All answers have been provided to us by Dr. Douglas M. Bibus, MS, PhD. If you do not see the information you are looking for please email us. We will contact our expert Dr. Douglas M. Bibus, MS, PhD., directly to answer any question you have regarding these nutrients and how they relate a mother and her baby.

FDA Disclaimer

  • Heart Health* (How)

A: We could write a book about this one! Omega-3 fatty acids are good for the heart.* Many studies have reported that fish or fish oil consumption are cardio-protective.* There are several ways that omega-3s are thought to elicit their heart health benefits.* Omega-3 is known to help maintain healthy levels of blood lipids like triglyceride.* The heart also relies on DPA and DHA omega-3 to function.* Heart tissue and their membranes are enriched in omega-3 fatty acids. DHA has also been reported to support normal heart rhythms.*

  • Brain and Mood* (How)

A: Research by Dr. Joe Hibbeln and others that omega-3 consumption is beneficial for brain health.* While the precise mechanism of this effect is not known, research suggests that omega-3 in the brain helps release compounds that make us feel happy like serotonin and dopamine.* Some clinical trials in human patients have reported positive benefits for patients receiving omega-3 from fish oil.*

  • Eyes* (How)

A: DHA is critical to eye health and vision.* The retina or back surface of your eye has almost 80% of its fatty acids as DHA. DHA in retinal membranes is known to be critical for the visual cycle or the chemical process of vision.* Research animals raised on DHA-deficient diets do not see as well and have reduced visual capacity. People with “dry eye” may benefit from DHA rich fish oil.*

  • Immune System* (How)

A: Omega-3 fatty acids are found in abundance in many of our immune cells and are considered important to the proper function of our immune system.*

  • Hair, Skin, and Nails* (How)

A: Omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids are important for skin, hair, and nails.* Nordic populations have long been known to have beautiful skin, which is thought to be related to their high fish and high omega-3 intake.*

  • Fitness* (How)

A: Most people serious about fitness and performance take some type of omega-3 supplement today. Omega-3 has been reported to help improve performance, recovery, and cognitive function in athletes.* Omega-3 enriched red blood cells bend and deform more easily and are thought to increase oxygenation in tissues.* Omega-3s have also been reported to improve recovery times after exercise or competition.*

  • Healthy Digestive System* (How)

A: Our digestive system is filled with millions of cells from our mouths to our bottom. These cells are mainly a type of cell that grows and turns over rapidly. DPA and DHA are widely incorporated into these cells and are thought to keep these membranes “happy” and healthy by maintaining a tight fit between cells.* Omega-3s may also help calm an “unhappydigestive system.*

  • Children* (How)

A: Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the growth and well-being of children for a multitude of reasons such as the ones covered in the above topics.*

FDA Disclaimer

A: Excess omega-6 in our body as a result of a high omega-6 and low omega-3 diets can cause an omega-3 deficiency.* Excessive amounts of omega-6 with little omega-3 upsets the body’s balance.*

It is important to get sources of plant based omega-3, like most green vegetables, flax, chia and hemp, along with sources of long chain omega-3 like fish and fish oil every day. Our body’s cannot synthesize or make omega-3 fatty acids and thus we must get these from our diet.

FDA Disclaimer

A: The standard American diet has 10-20 times as much Omega-6 as Omega-3 in it mainly due to our use of Omega-6 rich oils like corn and soy. Diets high in Omega-6 suppress Omega-3 metabolism and hurt the levels of Omega-3 in the body (Hibbeln, 2012).* Low Omega-3 status is linked to increased risk for a number of disease states. Balancing Omega-6 to Omega-3 can be as simple as adding Omega-3 to our diet (to balance out omega 6) or a combination of avoiding omega 6 and adding Omega-3. See www.EFAeducation.org for more information about balancing Omega-6 and Omega-3.

FDA Disclaimer

A: Consuming fish or getting fish oil from supplements can help you feel better whether you are a mother or not.* Research and multiple studies have shown that (Omega 3s) can help promote mental and physical health.* Omega-3s are an essential nutrient that contributes to and promotes good overall health.*

FDA Disclaimer

A: We think everyone should take an Omega-3 each day. If you were thinking of getting pregnant, I would recommend starting an Omega-3 supplement even before you become pregnant. Some data suggests that DHA helps with conception.* Women should continue to take Omega-3 during and after pregnancy especially if they are breast-feeding. Most pregnant women are started on prenatal DHA supplements upon learning of their pregnancy.

FDA Disclaimer

A: It is safe to take Omega-3s while women are breast-feeding. Pre and postnatal supplements typically contain DHA to support maternal and infant health.* The FDA states that up to 3000 mg of EPA and DHA per day are safe for adults. Many countries encourage pregnant and breastfeeding women to consume Omega-3s. The US FDA has recently stated that pregnant women need to consume at least 12 ounces of fish per week, preferably Omega-3 rich fish low in mercury. Most quality fish oil supplements have undetectable levels of mercury and heavy metals.

Read: Fish: Fish What Pregnant Women Parents Should Know (PDF) Draft Updated Advice by FDA and EPA

A: DHA is short for docosahexaenoic acid, an Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid that is found in every cell of our bodies. DHA is critical for brain, eye, and central nervous development and functioning.* During pregnancy and after pregnancy, your developing baby relies on you to get the DHA needed for healthy development. Because DHA is derived from the foods we eat, the concentration of DHA the mother has to pass to her developing baby is highly determined by her diet and/or intake of supplements.

There are four main points that we need to focus on here:

  1. DHA helps in the development of your baby’s brain, overall nervous system, and eyes (vision).*
  2. DHA is a specific type of Omega-3 that our body cannot make on its own.
  3. If a mother does not replenish DHA through her diet or by taking supplements, her body will use up its own reservoir of DHA. This maternal DHA depletion will inhibit (significantly decrease) the amount of nutrients available to her growing baby during pregnancy and post-pregnancy through breast milk.
  4. If the depleted levels of DHA are not replenished through diet or supplements, the recovery time for the mother may be significantly longer compared to a diet with increased (added) DHA.

FDA Disclaimer

A: Omega-3s are a family of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential for both health and development of the mother and are also essential for both neurological and early visual development of your baby.* Unfortunately, the body does not synthesize these nutrients (Omega-3s) and therefore must be obtained through your diet or from supplements.

FDA Disclaimer

A: Adding Omega-3s to a mothers diet helps support her Omega-3 status and also helps provide omega-3 as DPA and DHA to baby.* Adding more DHA to a mother’s diet increases levels of DHA in her breast milk and in her own body.* Babies’ brains and body’s are growing rapidly in the first few years of life. Adding Omega-3s to the diet of the mother who is breast-feeding will help support the Omega-3 needs of her baby.*

FDA Disclaimer

A: Breast milk naturally contains DPA and DHA. These important fatty acids are sourced from the mother and supplied as essential nutrients to the growing baby. Growing children use DPA and DHA primarily as building blocks for brain and retinal tissue.* The amount of DPA and DHA in breast milk reflects the amount of DPA and DHA in the diet. An example, the more DPA and DHA in the diet, the greater the amount will be in breast milk.

  • Children fed low amounts of these nutrients have been reported to have lower IQ and cognitive function compared to children fed higher amounts (Allspac study). The amount DPA and DHA in breast milk can be increased by adding DPA and DHA to the diet of the mother (Martek reference).
  • It is also a popular theory that the “DHA drain” on mothers from breastfeeding, reduced the mother’s DHA status (Hibbeln Fish consumption and PPD).

FDA Disclaimer

A: Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for cell function.* Animals raised on Omega-3s deficient diets do not grow well and have diminished cognitive and visual function. In humans, Omega-3 deficiencies were marked by decreased muscle and cognitive function (Holman and Hatch 1984).

FDA Disclaimer

A: Using Mother to Mother Nutrients’ Postnatal Supplement is most beneficial when combined with eating well and maintaining healthy physical activity patterns. Additionally, focus on decreasing excess calories and making informed food choices. These lifestyle choices will help you attain and maintain a healthy weight and promote good overall health so that you can be there for your family for years to come.

  • Key things to be aware of:
    • Focus on consuming nutrient-dense foods, maintain calorie balance over time to achieve and sustain a healthy weight, and use Mother to Mother Nutrients’ Postnatal Supplements to ensure you are getting the right amounts of the much-needed nutrients for you and your baby.
    • For more information download Dietary Guidelines.

A: Lutein belongs to the xanthophyll family of carotenoids, which are synthesized within dark green leafy plants, such as spinach and kale, and other foods such as eggs. Studies have shown that lutein is beneficial for healthy eyes and also plays a role in other tissues including skin, breast tissue, and the brain.* There are several recent studies that suggest reported skin health benefits, which are attributed to lutein. In addition to these new studies about the benefits of lutein.* In addition to these new studies about the benefits of lutein, there are currently three studies on lutein levels in breast milk. These studies evaluated the impact of lutein consumption on serum levels, safety, growth, oxidative stress, and antioxidants in infants.*

The Science behind Lutein: results and conclusions in scientific research.

(Note the information below will be uploaded as PDFs and supporting research to aid in the relevancy of the above information)

The Role of Lutein in Pregnancy and Infant Care (PDF)

Important Skin Health Studies Involving Lutein (PDF)

Clinical Evidence Shows Long-term Beneficial Effects of FloraGLO Lutein … (PDF)

FDA Disclaimer

A: DHA, DPA, and EHA are three of the main omega-3 fatty Acids. In recent medical research, all three of these components have shown to be vital building blocks in human health, growth, and development.*

  • DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is the building block of the brain, nerve, and eye tissue.* Not only is it important for women and mothers, it is especially important in developing visual acuity and motor skills in babies.*
  • DPA (docosapentaenoic acid) an elongated form of EPA, has been shown to help skin and hearth health.*
  • EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) studies have shown to be beneficial for a healthy cardiovascular system.*

FDA Disclaimer

A: Certain dietary fats are essential for the human body to grow and flourish. Omega-3 fatty acids are vital (our bodies may not be able to synthesize them) and are important for nearly every cell in our body.* They are particularly important for brain and eyes as they make up a considerable amount of these tissue’s lipids.* Omega-3 fatty acids help our body’s function properly.*

Q: Why?

A: Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to a healthy body as critical components of cell membranes and their role in regulating gene expression.*

FDA Disclaimer

  • A: DHA is regarded as a membrane or structural fatty acid. It is important to every cell in the body and critical for brain and eye health.*
    • The main benefit of DHA is membrane function, brain, and eye health.*
  • A: EPA is also reported to help maintain healthy triglyceride levels when given at a higher dose.*
  • A: DPA, recent studies have reported that DPA in the diet can be converted either into EPA or DHA. In our blood, DPA is found at 2 times the level of EPA and about half the level of DHA. While it has its own special properties, DPA is thought to act as a reservoir for EPA and DHA, being able to be converted into each as needed.*
    • The main benefit of DPA is that it acts as a reservoir for EPA and DHA, conversion.*

FDA Disclaimer

A: EPA, DPA, and DHA are structurally very similar. Our bodies will decide how each of these omega-3 fatty acids are used once they are consumed. EPA can also be converted into DPA and DHA and vice a versa.

A: Omega-3s, as they are commonly known, are a family of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid that are crucial for both health and development of the mother as well as for both neurological and early visual development of your baby.* Unfortunately, the body does not always efficiently synthesize these nutrients and therefore they must be obtained through your diet or from supplements.

FDA Disclaimer

A: We are all a little different in how we react to certain things we put into our bodies. Some of us may experience this “fishy aftertaste,” while others will not. At Mother to Mother Nutrients, we have compiled several ways to lessen this potential effect.

  • Mother to Mother Nutrients has added orange extract to our postnatal supplement to help mitigate this possible response.*
  • Ensure you have eaten prior to taking this or any other fish oil supplement. Because Omega-3s are fatty acids and the lutein (skin and eyes) and D3 are fat-soluble nutrients that are absorbed by the body better when taken with food.
    • Here’s a tip… Avocado is one of nature’s perfect foods. Cut one in half and score all the way to the edge of the skin, squeeze some lemon juice and enjoy. You may also slice up with hard-boiled eggs for a quick breakfast and take your Mother to Mother Nutrients Postnatal softgels after. We bet this tip will cut back on any unpleasant fish burps.

FDA Disclaimer