omega 3 improves egg and embryo quality

Omega-3 improves chances to get pregnant. Image courtesy Stock Photo at

How Omega 3 can help you increase egg quality and get pregnant


There exist two major types of omega-3 fatty acids: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). The World Health Organization and governmental health agencies of several countries recommend consuming 300-500mg of EPA plus DHA daily for healthy adults.

It’s up to you to decide whether you prefer eating fatty fish, taking supplements or combining both. Vegetarians can increase omega-3 from plant-derived sources (this one is called alpha-linoleic acid, ALA) such as tofu, soybeans and flaxseed oil, but there are reports that ALA might be less potent then omega-3 from animal sources.

When working on improving egg quality, keep in mind that it is not only the quantity of omega-3 that matters, but rather fixing the ratio of the two building blocks, which primarily means reducing omega 6 amounts as well.

Only this combined strategy will provide good quality building blocks for your cells, eggs included.


fast food and getting pregnant

Food of our ancestors was different. Image courtesy: xedos4 at

Foods of our ancestors were low in omega-6

Anthropological research suggests that our hunter-gatherer ancestors consumed omega-6 and omega-3 fats in a ratio of roughly 1:1. Throughout 4-5 million years of hominid evolution, grains and seed oils did not play a big role in the nutrition, the foods of hunters and gatherers were relatively low in omega-6.

With onset of the industrial revolution about 150 years ago, consumption of omega-6 increased, shifting the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 dramatically. This change was due to the intake of vegetable oils and the increased use of cereal grains as feed for domestic livestock, which in turn altered the fat profile of meat.

According to the Mayo clinic, people in Western societies nowadays consume roughly 10 times more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids. Not surprisingly, a study published in Human Reproduction which examined the fat composition in human eggs found similar results. These results indicated that omega-6 fatty acids were 7.73 times more abundant in eggs which failed to be fertilized.

Because omega-6 and omega-3 compete for the same tools in the body, which convert them to active metabolites, benefits can be reached by decreasing omega-6 or, even better, by increasing the intake of omega-3 fatty acids.


Most likely not. If you want to have healthy eggs, you need to supplement omega-3 in addition to reducing omega-6 fatty acids.

This is easily accomplished by avoiding fast food and vegetable oils such as sunflower, corn, soybean, and sesame oil, and using butter, lard, flaxseed, coconut, and olive oil instead (the last one being very good for cold cooking and salads).


 Omega-3 supplements and books:

Life Extension Super Omega-3 EPA/DHA with Seasame Lignans and Olive Fruit Extract, 120 Softgels               Omega 3 Fish Oil By Naturo Sciences (120 Counts) - High Potency, Ultra Concentrated Fish Oil Supplement; Just 1 Pill Contains 1000mg of Omega 3 Fatty Acids (EPA +DHA); Burpless, Odorless Capsules with Enteric Coating Make For No Fishy Aftertaste or Reflux; Even The Top Sellers Can't Beat Our “Honest” Pricing Policy!               Clean Cuisine: An 8-Week Anti-Inflammatory Diet that Will Change the Way You Age, Look & Feel               The Omega-3 Effect: Everything You Need to Know About the Supernutrient for Living Longer, Happier, and Healthier


Recent scientific reports on omega-3 in improving egg and embryo quality:

•          Hammiche F, Vujkovic M, Wijburg W, de Vries JH, Macklon NS, Laven JS, Steegers-Theunissen RP. Increased preconception omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake improves embryo morphology. Fertil Steril. 2011 Apr;95(5):1820-3.

•          Kim JY, Kinoshita M, Ohnishi M, Fukui Y. Lipid and fatty acid analysis of fresh and frozen-thawed immature and in vitro matured bovine oocytes. Reproduction. 2001 Jul;122(1):131-8.

•          Nehra D, Le HD, Fallon EM, Carlson SJ, Woods D, White YA, Pan AH, Guo L, Rodig SJ, Tilly JL, Rueda BR, Puder M. Prolonging the female reproductive lifespan and improving egg quality with dietary omega-3 fatty acids. Aging Cell. 2012 Dec;11(6):1046-54.