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Omega-3 Supplementation May Reduce Risk of Premature Birth

Premature babies are at a higher risk of a range of long-term conditions including visual impairment, developmental delay, and learning difficulties. A recent study suggests that increasing intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty-acids during pregnancy may lower the risk of premature birth.


For this study, researchers examined data from more than 70 randomized trials that included nearly 20,000 women at low, mixed, or high risk of poor pregnancy outvcomes. The trials examined omega-3 supplementation in comparison with placebo or with no omega-3.


The researchers found that supplements of EHA and DPA omega-3s — the omega-3s found in fish oil — were associated with an 11% lower risk of having a premature birth of a baby less than 37 weeks; a 42% lower risk of having an early premature birth of less than 34 weeks’ and a 10% reduced risk of having a low birthweight baby.


Researchers from South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute led the study. It was published on November 15, 2018, in Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.


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 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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