Pregnant women and lactating women are advised to take an omega-3 fatty acid supplement daily.

DHA has recently received an officially approved health claim for the brain development of prenatal babies, if 250mg DHA are consumed daily.

Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, are critical for the embryonic development of the brain, eyes and central nervous system and may reduce the risk of premature birth.
Depending on the mother’s consumption of omega-3 fatty acids prior to and during pregnacy, these fatty acids are passed on the baby via the placenta, the last trimester being the most important for the growing baby’s brain abd nervous system. DHA’s benefits in prenatal, Infant and adolescent nutrition include:
Higher cognitive abilities in learning, understanding and academic performance.
Better vision.
Reduce the risk for atopic eczema in the baby.
Babies are at lower risk for allergies such as egg and milk allergies.
Benefits gestration, while effects on major depression in pregnacy are less clear.

Premenstrual syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a collection of physical and emotional symptoms related to the female hormonal menstrual cycle.
Many women suffer from symptoms of PMS and most women within the child bearing age
(up to 85%) report having experienced physical symptoms, such as bloating or breast tenderness.

The specific emotional and physical symptoms attributable to PMS vary from woman to woman, but each individual woman’s pattern of symptoms occurs consistenly during the ten days before menses, and disappears either just before or after the start of menstrual blood flow.

More than 200 different symptoms have been associated with PMS, but the three most prominent symptoms are irritability, tension and dysphoria.

Other common emotional and non specific symptoms of PMS include stress,anxiety, difficulty falling asleep,headache,fatique,mood swings,increased emotional sencitivity and changes in libido.
Physical symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle, include bloating, abdominal cramps, constipation, swelling or tenderness in the breast, cyclic acne and joint or muscle pain.

In a double blind, randomized clinical trial 70 women suffering from PMS received either Krill oil supplement or conventional fish oil. As a secondary outcome measure, the effectiveness of krill oil was compared to that of fish oil.
36 women received 2 g of krill oil and the control group consisting of 34 women was given 2g of fish oil once daily with the meals for the first month of the trial.
During the subsequent two months,the dosage was changed and the supplements were only given 8 days prior to and 2 days during menstruation.
All women had to fill in a self-assessment questionnaire for PMS based on the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists criteria for PMS ranging from a rating 0 for no symptoms to 10 for unbearable (taken on baseline,45-day and 90 –day visits)

The study found that krill oil was significantly effective in reducing the emotional and physical symptoms of PMS after 45 days and 90 days of treatment, when compared to the beginning values.
Within the fish oil group a statistically significant improvement after 45 days relative to baseline was only seen with symptoms of weight gain and abdominal pain.

Other physical and emotional symptoms at the 90-day point were not signifficantly improved in the fish oil group, except again for symptoms such as increased weight gain, abdominal pain and swelling. Additionaly, women taking the krill oil took signifficantly fewer analgesics for period pain when comparing the baseline to the 45-day and 90-day visits and when compared to women taking fish oil.(during the 10-day treatment period)

These results indicate that krill oil is a healthy alternative and can help to reduce symptoms of PMS in women when taken at the dose of 2g a few days before and also during the menstrual cycle.

In addition,it was shown that women who have a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids have a higher bone density,suggesting that omega-3 fatty acids might be usefull in the prevention of osteoporosis.