October 10, 2011

In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health published in Pediatrics in 2011 by B. Imhoff-Kunsch, they found that women who took omega 3 supplements during the 18th to 22nd weeks of gestation through childbirth had children with fewer colds and shorter illnesses at 1, 3 and 6 months of age.

Specifically, the study was performed with 2000 women broken into a placebo arm and an arm taking 400mg of DHA supplements in an algal form(plant based). This is an example of a large scale nutrition study that solidifies the need for public health initiatives to encourage women to eat foods containing omega 3 fatty acids while reducing the antagonist, omega 6 fatty acids.

I am constantly harping on the maternal side of the equation because the preponderance of the data points to the in utero environment as a key to disease prevention. Prevent first and treat only when prevention fails.

See the link for safe fish and fatty acid sources.

In another study in Pediatrics in 2011 by M. Belderbos, they found that neonates with low vitamin D levels at birth (in umbilical cord blood) were more likely to develop RSV, a viral respiratory infection, in the first year of life. This is a marker of maternal health. Newborns with insufficient 25 OH vitamin D levels had a 6 fold increase risk of RSV illness in the first year of life.

My take home point today: Fish oil and high quality fish are great for human consumption.

Go fishing,

Dr. Magryta