Pregnancy Use

Fish oils appear to be safe during pregnancy at dietary doses.

PRACTICE POINTS/PATIENT COUNSELLING

• As precursors of eicosanoids, polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish oils exert a wide influence over many important physiological processes.

• They have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, immunological, neurological, antiplatelet and chemopreventative effects, and a range of beneficial actions within the cardiovascular system.

• Daily ingestion of at least 1 g EPA and DHA (equivalent to fish eaten at least twice weekly) may result in a reduction in total mortality, cardiovascular mortality and morbidity.

• Trials generally support the use of supplements in a range of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and atopic dermatitis, elevated triglycerides, hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions, poor cognitive function and diabetes. Preliminary research suggests a possible role in depression.

• Peoplewith bleeding disorders should take fish oil supplements under medical supervision and high doses should be avoided 1 week prior to major surgery.

ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What will this supplement do for me?

Regular consumption of fish oils may reduce total mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and morbidity. Additionally, beneficial effects have been demonstrated in a wide variety of conditions. When will it start to work?

This will depend on the dosage taken and indication for use. Are there any safety issues?

Peoplewith bleeding disorders or taking blood thinning drugs should take fish oil supplements under medical supervision. High-dose fish oil supplements should be avoided prior to major surgery to avoid risk of excessive bleeding.

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