New Study: The Benefits of Omega 3 Supplementation and Child Development!
n-3 fatty acid supplementation in mothers, preterm infants, and term infants and childhood psychomotor and visual development: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
The last trimester of pregnancy through the first 2 years of life is a period of rapid cognitive and visual development. It is also a time when the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) actively incorporates into cell membranes of the brain and retina. Observational studies suggest that children born from mothers who consume more seafood and dietary omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy have better cognitive development, but clinical trial results have been mixed.
Researchers conducted a meta-analysis to investigate the effects of maternal, preterm infant, and term infant omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on childhood cognitive and visual development. The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2018.
Only randomized controlled trials were included in the analysis. The primary exposure was supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, including DHA, EPA, or both. The primary outcomes were standardized measures of cognition and visual development in infants and children through age 18. The final analysis included 5541 unique participants in 38 trials. Omega-3 supplementation was given to mothers in 13 trials, to preterm infants in 7 trials, and to term infants in 18 trials.
Results of the pooled analysis across maternal, preterm, and term infant supplementation showed that omega-3 supplementation improved visual acuity and increased mental and psychomotor development scores on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. Omega-3 supplementation did not affect intelligence quotient (IQ).
When comparing the effects of supplementation among the different time periods, the benefits were greater for infant supplementation than for maternal supplementation. Supplementation in preterm infants significantly improved mental development scores, and supplementation in preterm and term infants significantly improved visual acuity.
In combination with previous observational evidence of the benefits of maternal fish consumption, this meta-analysis supports the benefits of omega-3 supplementation on cognitive and visual development during pregnancy and the first 2 years of life.
Source: Natural Partners
Image Source: omega3innovations.com
Shulkin, M., Pimpin, L., Bellinger, D., Kranz, S., Fawzi, W., Duggan, C., & Mozaffarian, D. (2018). n-3 fatty acid supplementation in mothers, preterm infants, and term infants and childhood psychomotor and visual development: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Nutrition, 148(3), 409-418.