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Maternal Supplementation With Omega-3 Fatty Acids Reduces Risk Of Low Birth Weight Babies

February 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The first phase of a 10-year U.S. clinical trial found that the infants of women who received 600 mg of DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) daily during their pregnancies were less at risk of low birth weight and premature birth. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) occurs naturally in cell membranes with the highest levels in brain cells, but levels can be increased by diet or supplements. In the next five-year phase, the children will receive twice-yearly assessments until they are six years of age. Other developmental milestones will then be measured. The researchers hope that DHA supplementation will increase birth weight and gestational length to match those of Norway and Australia.
S. E. Carlson et al., "DHA supplementation and pregnancy outcomes", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 25, 2013, © American Society for Nutrition
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