Indication: Asthma (in children)
Source: Am J Clin Nutr, July 2008;88(1):167-75.
Research: Evidence suggests that asthma is rooted in the intrauterine environment and that intake of marine omega 3 fatty acids (omega 3s) in pregnancy may have immunomodulatory effects on the child. The aim of this study was to examine whether or not increasing maternal intake of omega 3s in pregnancy would affect offspring risk of asthma. In 1990, a population-based sample of 533 women with normal pregnancies were randomly assigned to receive four 1-gram gelatin capsules per day of fish oil providing 2.7 grams omega 3s (n = 266); four 1-gram , similar-looking capsules per day with olive oil (n = 136); or no oil capsules (n = 131). Women were recruited and randomly assigned around gestation week 30 and asked to take capsules until delivery.
Results: During the 16 years that passed since childbirth, 19 children from the fish oil and olive oil groups had received an asthma-related diagnosis; 10 had received the diagnosis allergic asthma. This risk of developing asthma was reduced in those whose mothers had been given fish oil supplements. Under the assumption that intake of olive oil in the dose provided here was inert, researchers said their results indicate that increasing omega 3s in late pregnancy may carry an important prophylactic potential in relation to offspring asthma.