Fish Oil Consumption May Prevent Pre-Term Birth

02/21/2002
By Harvey McConnell
Low consumption of fish oils appears a strong risk factor for pre-term delivery and low birth weight.

A study among 8,729 pregnant Danish women indicates that long chain omega n.3 fatty acids in amounts above 2 g a day may delay spontaneous delivery and prevent recurrence of pre-term delivery, declares Dr Sjurour Frooi Olsen and colleagues at the Maternal Nutrition Group, Danish Epidemiology Science Centre, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark.

The clinicians note that in an earlier study a findings of high birth weights and long gestations in the fish eating community of the Faroe Islands suggested that intake of seafood rich in long chain omega n.3 fatty acids can increase birth weight by prolonging gestation or by increasing the fetal growth rate.

Randomised controlled trials have shown that fish oil can delay spontaneous delivery and prevent recurrence of pre-term delivery, but the minimum amount of omega n.3 fatty acids needed to obtain this effect remains to be determined.

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