Fatty Acids Plump up Pregnancy

Pregnancy supplement boosts baby nutrition

(RxWiki News) Omega-3 fatty acids in diets have been shown to be protective against many diseases. Although they're too young to take supplements, that doesn't mean that babies can't benefit as well.

A recent study shows that women who took a vitamin containing omega-3 fatty acids delivered healthier babies.

"Ask your OB/GYN about omega-3 vitamin supplements during pregnancy."

Usha Ramakrishnan, Ph.D., associate professor, Hubert Department of Global Health at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health reports that this large study shows how important a nutritious diet is during pregnancy. The women who were taking 400 mg of DHA were more likely to deliver healthier babies.

The study followed approximately 1,100 pregnant women, who were either taking 400 mg of DHA or a placebo from 18 to 22 weeks gestation through the birth of their children. Then, the study assessed the health of their babies at 1 month, 3 months and 6 months of age.

At 1 month, the infants in the group who took DHA had a reduction in cold symptoms by 25 percent.

At 3 months, the infants in the DHA group spent 14 percent less time ill and at 6 months, this group experienced less fever, runny noses, rashes and difficulty breathing. Interestingly, this group did have more vomiting.

All of the babies in the study were breastfed, and DHA was also found in the breast milk of the mothers.

Prior research by this team already shows that mothers who take DHA during pregnancy deliver babies who are 100 grams heavier and 3/4 cm longer at 18 months of age.

This research will be published in September 2011 edition of Pediatrics.

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Review Date: 
August 2, 2011