360° Coverage : DHA reduces low birth weight in premature babies

DHA reduces low birth weight in premature babies

Washington, Feb 26 (IANS) Women administered a 600 mg dose of omega-3 fatty acid DHA during pregnancy gave birth to babies weighing more, even before 34 weeks of gestation, than babies of mothers given a placebo (sugar pills), according to a finding.

Feb 26 2013, 2:19am CST | by

DHA reduces low birth weight in premature babies
Photo Credit: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI, Getty Images

Washington, Feb 26 — Women administered a 600 mg dose of omega-3 fatty acid DHA during pregnancy gave birth to babies weighing more, even before 34 weeks of gestation, than babies of mothers given a placebo (sugar pills), according to a finding.

The finding from the University of Kansas greatly strengthens the case for using the dietary supplement during pregnancy. It is based on the first five years of a 10-year, double-blind randomized controlled trial.

A follow-up of this sample of infants is ongoing to determine whether prenatal DHA nutritional supplementation will benefit children's intelligence and school readiness, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports.

"A reduction in early pre-term and very low birth weight delivery could have clear clinical and public health significance," said Susan Carlson, professor of dietetics and nutrition at the Kansas Medical Centre, who co-authored the study with John Colombo, Kansas professor of psychology.

"We believe that supplementing US women with DHA could safely increase mean birth weight and gestational age to numbers that are closer to other developed countries such as Norway and Australia," Carlson said, according to a Kansas statement.

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) occurs naturally in cell membranes with the highest levels in brain cells, but levels can be increased by diet or supplements.

An infant obtains DHA from his or her mother in the womb and from human milk, but the amount received depends upon the mother's DHA status.

During the first five years of the study, children of women enrolled in the study received multiple developmental assessments at regular intervals throughout infancy and at 18 months of age.

In the next phase, the children will receive twice-yearly assessments until they are six years old.

Researchers will measure developmental milestones that occur in later childhood and are linked to lifelong health and welfare.

IANS

Source: IANS

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/8" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml@i4u.com. Luigi posts regularly on LuigiMe.com about his experience running I4U.

 

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