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Fish oil not as good for pregnant mums as thought: Study

July 14, 2019

Makrides concluded saying, ???This is the largest and most well conducted study of its type??¦ so we have a conclusive result about the fact that there is little or no effect of DHA supplementation during normal pregnancy on postpartum depression or early childhood neurodevelopment.???

Duffy MacKay, ND, vice-president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition in Washington, D.C., a trade association representing manufacturers and ingredient suppliers of dietary supplements feels that the results of the study are inconsistent with previous literature. He pointed out some weaknesses, ???The timeliness of the intervention may be off.??? He suggested 21 weeks of pregnancy may be too late to start the supplements to get benefits. Makrides' plan to assess the children later is a good one, he says.

Emily Oken, associate professor of population medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, who co-authored an editorial to accompany the study added that further work is needed. It could be that the Australian study did not include women most at risk of postpartum depression, she says. Till further evidence she says pregnant women are advised to take their supplements. ???Most women can get [the recommended amount] by eating one or two fish servings a week of fattier fish, such as salmon or herring??¦If they can't or won't, it's reasonable and safe to take a supplement,??? she added. ???I think there are two things that are quite clear,??? said Oken. ???One is that it's safe to take fish oil supplements. The second is that they reduce the rate of preterm births.???