Fish oils found to have no impact on brain function of baby (or mum-to-be!) but may reduce premature births
Omega-3 is a popular pregnancy supplement
Fish oil supplements in pregnancy may help babies reach fullterm, according to new findings. However, the research suggests that fish oil has no effect on your mood or your unborn baby’s development.
The study of 2,000 women in Australia found that taking a supplement of fish or vegetable oil containing omega-3 fatty acid and a chemical called DHA, reduced the chances of giving birth before 34 weeks from just over 2% to 1%.
However, women taking the supplements had similar levels of post-natal depression as those not taking them. The babies born to these mums were also evaluated and had no differences at 18 months in their babbling, speech, language or motor development.
“These results show that recommendations to increase omega 3 fatty acids in pregnancy are being made without sound evidence,” said Professor Maria Makrides, who led the study.
“Despite limited evidence, women are being recommended to increase their intake of fish oil fats in pregnancy and the nutritional supplement industry is successfully marketing products with fish oil, claiming they optimise brain function in both mother and infant,” Professor Maria added.
If you’re pregnant, find out about which diet supplements are recommended and why.