Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Neonatal Health and Development

5 min read /
General Nutrition Neonatology
Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Neonatal Health and Development

A recent study explored the effectiveness of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy. According to the study, enrichment of the maternal diet with omega dietary supplements increases long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC-PUFA) levels, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), by 1.18 and 1.37 times, respectively, as compared to non-supplemented mothers. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids can penetrate the umbilical cord, thereby significantly increasing the levels of EPA and DHA in the blood of developing neonates. Further, the study adds to the understanding that maternal omega-3 supplementation reduces the n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio, which can improve maternal and neonatal outcomes, thus reducing the risk of preterm birth. Hence, it is essential to increase the awareness and accessibility of LC-PUFA–rich foods and supplements in pregnant women without apprehension of methylmercury contamination. These findings provide insights into shaping future recommendations for pregnant women, with careful consideration of dosage and duration of supplementation.


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