Are babies exposed to maternal omega-3s at risk for higher BMI?

The single-center, blinded, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study evaluated 700 mother-child pairs, concluding thatย children studied experienced increased BMI by 10 years old, heightened risk of being overweight and a likelihood of increased fat percentage and higher metabolic syndrome score.

โ€œThe prevalence of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence has increased during the past 40 years, and environmental exposures during fetal life have long been suspected of playing a role,โ€ they wrote. โ€œBoth animal and observational human studies have shown associations between higher pregnancy intake of fish or higher blood concentrations of omega-3ย LCPUFAs and lower BMI and healthier metabolic profiles in the offspring. However, no larger randomized clinical trials (RCTs) have been able to replicate these findings.โ€

The study is a follow-up analysis of a randomized clinical trialโ€‹ conducted among pregnant women and their offspring who participated in the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood (COPSAC) mother-child cohort. It showed that supplementation with nโˆ’3 LCPUFA in the third trimester reduced risk of chronic wheezing or asthma and infections of the lower respiratory tract in offspring by a third.

Study detailsโ€‹

The mothers in the experimental group received a daily 4 g fish oil supplement containing 2.4 g of omega-3ย LCPUFA from pregnancy (week 24) until one week after birth. The control group received an olive oil capsule placebo.

The researchers took venous fasting serum samples from the women, obtained at the COPSAC clinic, and determined HDL cholesterol, triglyceride, blood glucose and C-peptide concentrations. They also measured serum luteinizing hormone (LH) concentrations. Additionally, they calculated for metabolic syndrome. The analysis included children who received anthropometric measurements.

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