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Tuesday, 20 November 2018
A new Cochrane Review study has discovered that increasing your intake of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) throughout pregnancy reduces the risk of premature birth.
Premature birth is the leading cause of fatality among children under the age of 5 worldwide, causing almost one million deaths every year. Those that survive it are at higher risk of a range of long term conditions and delayed developmental issues.
"We know premature birth is a critical global health issue, with an estimated 15 million babies born too early each year," says Associate Professor Philippa Middleton from Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). "While the length of most pregnancies is between 38 and 42 weeks, premature babies are those born before the 37-week mark -- and the earlier a baby is born, the greater the risk of death or poor health."
Associate Professor Middleton and a team of Cochrane researchers have been looking closely at long-chain omega-3 fats and their role in reducing the risk of premature births -- particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) found in fatty fish and fish oil supplements. They looked at 70 randomised trials and found that for pregnant women, increasing the daily intake of long-chain omega-3s:
· lowers the risk of having a premature baby (less than 37 weeks) by 11% (from 134 per 1000 to 119 per 1000 births)
· lowers the risk of having an early premature baby (less than 34 weeks) by 42% (from 46 per 1000 to 27 per 1000 births)
· reduces the risk of having a small baby (less than 2500g) by 10%
"There are not many options for preventing premature birth, so these new findings are very important for pregnant women, babies and the health professionals who care for them," Associate Professor Middleton says. "We don't yet fully understand the causes of premature labour, so predicting and preventing early birth has always been a challenge. This is one of the reasons omega-3 supplementation in pregnancy is of such great interest to researchers around the world."
Sona Zomega 3 For Women provides 100% of your daily dose of Omega-3, as well as a range of added vitamins. Sona Zomega 3 For Women is highly recommended during pregnancy, helping to prevent premature birth.
M Makrides, L Duley, SF Olsen. Fish oil and other prostaglandin precursor supplementation during pregnancy for reducing pre-eclampsia, preterm birth, low birth weight and intrauterine growth restriction. Cochrane Review, 2018