Omega-3 fatty acids – DHA an EPA are important for the prenatal development of the brain and the eye. The best source of these nutrients is cold-water or fatty fish. In fact, unless you consume enough of the right fish at least two times per week, you should get omega-3s from supplements. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should carefully watch daily dosage of omega-3 to minimize the risk of fish oil supplements side effects. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends consuming about 300mg of DHA a day during pregnancy. If you eat fish or omega-3 enriched food regularly, limit your DHA intake to 200mg a day.
Nowadays there is the concern about the possible high amount of mercury as one of the fish oil side effects. This if the issue of a special concern when fish oil supplements are prescribed to a pregnant woman.
However, all the major brands have recently gone trough tests, according to ConsumerLab.com. They do not contain mercury or other harmful chemicals. Therefore, you should choose the supplement very carefully to avoid possible fish oil side effects. The trustworthy manufactures use only examined fish, which is low in mercury. Besides, their processing techniques remove all remaining fish contaminants. Often they additionally distill the oil to remove chemicals. Many producers are aimed to get mercury content down to as low index as very few parts per trillion.
It is even safer to consume omega-3 pills, which are derived from algae rather than fish. Such a supplement does not contain mercury. Besides, it does not leave fishy aftertaste and it is appropriate for vegetarians.
The fishy taste or smell of supplements may indicate that the oil is rancid due to the violation of manufacturing principles. If you notice that there are strong additives in the supplement, be aware of the possibility of masking the poor quality of fish oil with pleasant odor. High-quality supplements almost never have artificial scents in their composition.
Vitamin A toxicity
High doses or long-term intake of fish oil is risky as it can cause a deficiency of vitamin E and vitamin A or D toxicity.
Other possible side effects of fish oil during pregnancy
The preparation of unrefined fish oil can include pesticides use.
The potential risk of bleeding at high doses. May be especially risky prior to childbirth.
Decreased estrogen receptor production.