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Aurora magazine

Too many Omega 6s in pregnancy hurt

In our society, we consume large quantities of omega 6 fats, in particular linoleic acid. The latter is present in potato chips and vegetable oils. However, a study shows that excess of this substance can become dangerous in pregnancy. It appears to be associated with a higher rate of heart disease.

The research was published in The Journal of Physiology. Doctors recommend consuming linoleic acid about three times a week. The researchers analyzed the effects of the substance during pregnancy by subjecting guinea pigs to a diet rich in linoleic acid for 10 weeks. Then they made them mate and continued to analyze the effects of the diet on pregnancy.

The guinea pigs that followed the diet before and during gestation showed three changes:

  • increased inflammatory proteins in the liver;
  • higher levels of a protein that causes contractions of the uterus;
  • reduction of a hormone that regulates the growth and development of the fetus.

All these changes are linked to increased complications and problems in fetal development. However, it is necessary to verify if the effects of linoleic acid are the same in rats and human beings.

If this were the case, pregnant women should reduce their consumption of omega 6 during pregnancy. Speaking of rats, the only variant with respect to the control group were the quantities of linoleic acid. Fat and sugar levels were normal, so you can't attribute any of these effects to them. When we talk about human beings, we must keep in mind that foods rich in omega 6 tend to be also fat and salty. This entails an additional health risk.