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Maternal Omega-3 Supplementation May Prevent Allergies in Children

Allergic conditions are among the most common medical conditions affecting children in the United States. A recent study suggests that taking omega-3 fish oil supplements during pregnancy may lower the risk of allergies in children.

Participants in the study included 95 pregnant women at risk of having an allergic infant. They were given either daily omega-3 supplements containing 1.6 grams of EPA and 1.1 grams of DHA or a placebo of 2.7 grams of soy bean oil daily from the 25th week of pregnancy until the third month of lactation.

The researchers found that supplementation boosted the mothers’ EPA and DHA levels in both their blood and breast milk. They also noted that none of the children in the omega-3 group whose mothers had EPA levels above 0.83 mol% in their colostrum had immunoglobin-E associated allergic conditions. Additionally, none of these children developed immunoglobin-E-associated atopic eczema.

The researchers corroborated these findings with previous findings on maternal omega-3 levels and allergies and concluded that a causal relationship exists between higher maternal omega-3 levels and lower incidences of allergic disease in infants.

Researchers from Linköping University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on April 8, 2016, in Acta Paediatrica.

Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including improved mood, improved joint mobility, reducing the risk of age related macular degeneration, and aiding your immune system.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in both DHA and EPA omega-3s. For people who don’t like fish, consider taking a daily high quality non-fish supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.

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