Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fish Oil in Pregnancy Helps Infant Health

The health of babies links back to pretty well everything mothers do during pregnancy.   Whether you are pregnant, know someone who is pregnant, or know someone who is planning to be pregnant, be sure to alert them to this study.

Fish oil capsules are finally getting the attention they deserve during pregnancy.

Daily supplements which include folic acid have been recommended for pregnant women for years.  But now Time Magazine, Aug 15, 2011 issue, quotes a new study that says children born to mothers who take fish-oil pills while pregnant may benefit from an early boost in immunity. 

I have read other studies noting how fish-oil capsules also aid in the brain development of babies in the womb.  DHA is one of the dominant fats in the nerve cells of fetal and infant brains.  Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids are critical to the development of the brain before birth and during early childhood.

In this study, researchers randomly assigned about 1,000 pregnant women to take daily supplements of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a major omega-3 fatty acid in fish oil, or a placebo.  The babies' health was evaluated when they were 1 month, 3 months and 6 months old.  At every stage, babies whose mothers took fish-oil pills were healthier than those whose mothers didn't.

At 1 month, they were 24% less likely to have cold symptoms such as coughing, nasal congestion and runny noses.  At 3 months, they were 14% less likely to be sick.  By 6 months, infants whose mothers had taken DHA developed cold sysmptoms as often as babies whose moms took the placebo, but their colds didn't last as long.

Time magazine asks:   How does prenatal fish oil affect a baby's ability to fight off sniffles?  A developing fetus's immune system relies on cues from its environment - in this case, the womb - to start building the cellular defense system that recognizes and kills bacteria and viruses.

Although the mechanism is unclear, the DHA seems to give the fetus a head start.  In the study, expectant mothers got 400 mg of DHA daily, starting at 18 to 22 weeks, which is significantly more than the 200 mg that the average Amercan woman consumes in a day.

We recommend USANA's BiOmega fish oil supplement, which includes both EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids for healthy brain function for babies and children (and adults of course).

Two capsules a day include 200 IU's of vitamin D3 and are formulated with lemon oil to eliminate the fishy aftertaste associated with most fish oil supplements.  BiOmega is free of contaminants, which are eliminated through a double-molecular distillation process that ensures the highest possible purity.

Please contact us for further supplement information.
Deanna and Dave Waters
Dedicated to Healthy Homes, Healthy Bodies and Healthy Finances

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