Fish Oil during pregnancy lowers asthma risk


BUT there might be a way to change that. A Danish study recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that women who take fish oil pills during the final three months of pregnancy reduced the risk of their children developing asthma by about one third. (3) Could fish oil be the next promising asthma natural remedy?
What Does the Study Say?
The study randomly assigned more than women who were 24 weeks pregnant with 2.4 grams of either fish oil or an olive oil placebo and followed up for three years after birth. About a quarter of the mothers and one-fifth of the fathers had asthma, and were evenly split between the two test groups. The study’s main objective was to see whether fish oil would have an effect on persistent wheezing or asthma in the children.
Three years later, among the children whose mothers were given fish oil, 16.9 percent of them had asthma, compared with 23.7 percent whose mothers had received the olive oil placebo. There was no negative effects on either the mothers or the children. The biggest benefit seemed to be among women who, at the start of the study, had low blood levels of the lipids that are abundant in fish oil.
An accompanying editorial in the journal, written by Dr. Christopher E. Ramsden of the National Institutes of Health, praised the study as well designed and carefully performed. The results might even enable doctors take a “precision medicine” approach, where a fish oil treatment would be designed for women most likely to benefit from taking fish oil.
Should I Get Some Fish Oil Then?
But if you’re pregnant or considering it, this one study doesn’t mean you should start chugging fish oil just yet to stave off asthma in your children. For starters, the amount of fish oil in the study was much higher than what’s usually recommended — about 15 to 20 times the amount — and the Danes already eat more fish to begin with than Americans.
On that note, it’s unclear whether simply consuming more low-risk fish oil during pregnancy might have similar effects (pregnant women are advised to steer clear of certain types of fish, like tuna, because of mercury levels which could be harmful to the growing baby).
One of the most interesting observations from the study was how women with low levels of EPA and DHA, the two fatty acids prevalent in fish oil, were the ones to benefit most from it. These acids are made from yet another acid that’s found in plant-based foods and converts to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

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