Scientists discover new fish oil benefit: An Australian scientist believes she has confirmed yet another health benefit of oily fish, the prevention of very premature birth.http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/br ... 6622715083
An Australian scientist believes she has confirmed yet another health benefit of oily fish, the prevention of very premature birth.
Professor Maria Makrides was primarily looking at the effect of omega 3 supplements on post-natal depression and neuro-development in young children when she made three discoveries.
Fish oil supplements in pregnancy do not prevent post-natal depression. Neither do they aid development in children.
They do, however, prevent "very early preterm" birth.
The University of Adelaide professor's study, involving 2400 women at five Australian maternity hospitals, has been used to support international research on premature birth.
The research indicates omega-3 fatty acid supplements make pregnancy last longer, allowing more growth and development time for the baby.
Very early pre-term is defined as a birth before 34 weeks of gestation. Normal full-term pregnancy lasts from 37 to 40 weeks.
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More than two per cent of the 300,000 babies delivered each year in Australia are born very prematurely.
University of Kansas professor Susan Carlson reviewed the outcomes of Prof Makrides' study and work in Europe, the UK and US.
Women who took the supplements tended to have slightly larger and heavier babies and gave birth some days later than the placebo group, she told the annual congress of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ) in Adelaide on Wednesday.
"So we have intriguing new evidence that long-chain omega-3 fatty acid supplementation does reduce the prevalence of very premature birth.
Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are found naturally in oily fish such as tuna and salmon.
Prof Makrides says the finding is important because most pre-term births occur spontaneously without an obvious cause.
She is undertaking a second specific trial, which she hopes will enable health professionals to recommend omega-3 fatty acids as a way to prevent preterm birth.