Taking fish oils in pregnancy 'does not boost brain power of baby'

Taking fish oils in pregnancy 'does not boost brain power of baby' - Taking fish oil during pregnancy does not reduce the chance of post-natal depression or boost brain development in babies, research has shown.

Many women take supplements including fish oil after there were suggestions it could improve their child's co-ordination, brainpower and vocabulary.

Some studies had suggested omega 3 could also reduce the chances of post-natal depression.

However a new study conducted by the University of Adelaide has found no differences among women taken the capsules and those not.


Fish oils in pregnancy do not boost baby's brain power, a study has found

Professor Maria Makrides said a study of 2400 pregnant women in five Australian maternity hospitals between 2005 and 2009 said rates of post-natal depression were the same and that there were no differences in the cognitive development of babies at 18-months-old either.

The findings are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In the trial half the women were given fish oil capsules in the last three months of pregnancy and the other half were given vegetable oil capsules.

Prof Makrides, who is Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Adelaide and Deputy Director of the Women's and Children's Health Research Institute, said: "These results show that recommendations to increase omega 3 fatty acids in pregnancy are being made without sound evidence.

"Despite the paucity of hard evidence, women are being recommended to increase their intake of fish oil fats in pregnancy and the nutritional supplement industry is successfully marketing products with fish oil, claiming they optimise brain function in both mother and infant.

"Before omega 3 supplementation in pregnancy becomes widespread, it is important to establish not only any benefits, but also any risks to mother or child." ( telegraph.co.uk )

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