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Adding Fish Oil in Pregnancy May Lead to Higher Child BMI

Adding Fish Oil in Pregnancy May Lead to Higher Child BMI

Fri, Sep 7, 2018

FRIDAY, Sept. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Supplementation with n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA) in pregnancy leads to higher body mass index (BMI) in offspring at age 6 years, but no increase in the proportion of obese children, according to a study published online Sept. 4 in The BMJ.

Rebecca Kofod Vinding, M.D., from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues conducted a double-blind, randomized trial involving 736 pregnant women and their offspring. Participants were randomized to receive n-3 LCPUFA (fish oil) or control (olive oil) from pregnancy week 24 until one week after birth.

The researchers found that the mean BMI z score was increased between age 0 and 6 in the fish oil versus the control group (0.14). Supplementation also correlated with a higher BMI z score (0.19), a higher weight/height (3.48 g/cm), and a larger waist circumference (0.6 cm) at age 6 years; there was no correlation for supplementation with an increased proportion of obese children. At age 6 years, the dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scan showed a higher total mass in the supplementation versus control group (395.4 g), which was due to higher lean mass (280.7 g), a higher bone mineral content (10.3 g), and a non-significantly higher fat mass (116.3 g).

"The body composition at age 6 years in children given fish oil supplementation was characterized by a proportional increase in lean, bone, and fat mass suggesting a general growth stimulating effect of n-3 LCPUFA," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text