Fish Oil During Pregnancy Cuts Down Asthma Risk in Babies

By Dane Lorica, | January 02, 2017

Pre-conception blood pressure in women apparently has an effect on the sex of their child. (Christian Glatz/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Pre-conception blood pressure in women apparently has an effect on the sex of their child. (Christian Glatz/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A new study has revealed that taking fish oil during pregnancy can help reduce the risk of asthma in babies.

According to research conducted in Denmark, 736 expecting mothers were made to take either 2.4 grams of placebo olive oil or fish oil everyday beginning at their 24th week of pregnancy.

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Blood samples were taken before and after consumption of supplements. According to the results, women who received low levels of fish oil's primary ingredients, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), lowered their children's rate of wheezing and asthma to 17.5 from 34.1 percent. However, it was observed that allergies from egg products, milk, and severe asthma cannot be reduced by fish oil intake.

Dr. Hans Bisgaard advised that besides taking supplements, women should "really need to be very fond of fish to get sufficient amounts" of fish oil benefits in their diet.

Statistics revealed that one in every five children suffer from asthma and respiratory conditions such as wheezing.

The researchers have recommended that the study is conducted in other countries where consumption of fish oil is low.

Dr. Christopher Ramsden said, "future work is also needed to determine whether lower doses are effective and whether these results can be replicated in other populations." Dr. Ramsden added that "before these findings can be applied to clinical practice, it is, therefore, imperative to ensure that this dose had no adverse effects on behavior, cognition or other long-term outcomes."

Currently, individuals can take not more than three grams of fish oil every day, according to the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO). Exceeding the recommended dose may result in hypotension, bleeding, and interaction with other drugs and vitamins.

The study on fish oil and its benefits in reducing the risk of asthma in children was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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