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Pre-Natal DHA Omega-3 Supplementation May Reduce Pre-Term Births

There are two types of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish: DHA and EPA. A recent study suggests that taking a daily DHA omega-3 supplement during pregnancy may greatly reduce the number of early preterm births and save the US healthcare system millions of dollars.

Participants in the study included 197 mothers and their infants who delivered at the Kansas University Hospital. Some of the mothers took 600 mg of DHA omega-3s while the rest took a placebo over the course of their pregnancies.

The researchers tracked how much money was spent on hospitalization following delivery and all hospitalizations for the following year. They found that taking the supplement resulted in a $1,678 savings per infant. After subtracting the $166.48 cost of the supplements and a $26 increase in maternal care costs, the net savings amounted to $1,484 per mother/infant pair.

The researchers calculated that the overall cost saving would be approximately $6 million for the close to 4 million live births per year in the US.

Researchers from the University of Kansas Medical Center conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on May 13, 2016, in Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids (PLEFA).

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 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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