Pregnant women who take certain omega-3 fatty acid supplements can cut back on the likelihood that their child will suffer from asthma by almost one third, says a recent study put together by the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood (COPSAC) and the University of Waterloo.
Fish oil, FTW!
We’ve already been popping omega-3 supplements as we knew they did wonders for our heart health, but now we’ll be pushing them on all our preggo friends, too. The research reveals that a daily dose of 2.4 grams of the supplement during the third trimester can lessen the child’s risk of asthma by up to 31 per cent.
“We’ve long suspected there was a link between the anti-inflammatory properties of long-chain omega-3 fats, the low intakes of omega-3 in Western diets and the rising rates of childhood asthma,” Professor Hans Bisgaard of COPSAC at the Copenhagen University Hospital said on the University of Waterloo’s news site. “This study proves that they are definitively and significantly related.”
Six hundred and ninety five Danish women gave their blood to researchers 24 weeks into their pregnancies and one week after their baby was born, then the health of the child was tracked for five years.
Interestingly, women with low levels of EPA and DHA–two of the long-chain acids found in omega-3–at the beginning of the treatment who then took the supplements, decreased the chance of their child developing asthma by 51 per cent. And, wouldn’t you know it, mothers in Canada and the United States are more likely to have low levels of both over Danish mothers, so we can expect these numbers to be even more significant for North American moms.
According to the Asthma Society of Canada, over three million Canadians suffer from asthma, and asthma rates are rising globally by over 50 per cent per decade.
These new findings might just represent a massive breakthrough. Let’s hope people, especially mothers, take note.