Fish oil found to help serious pregnancy complications

Fish oil found to help serious pregnancy complications

Taking fish oil during pregnancy could limit the effects of serious complications such as gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and miscarriage as well as enhancing fetal growth, according to researchers at The University of Western Australia.

The researchers added fish oil to the diets of pregnant rats and examined its effect on the placenta and fetus. They showed that after fish oil supplementation the placenta had higher levels of called resolvins. Other researchers have shown that resolvins are formed from omega-3 fatty acids and can reduce inflammatory conditions.

Researchers from three schools at UWA - Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology; Medicine and Pharmacology; and Women's and Infants' health - collaborated to conduct the study, which is published in the August edition of the Journal of Lipid Research.

Inflammation of the placenta occurs in pregnancy disorders, including , pre-eclampsia and miscarriage. The UWA research shows the omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil can help limit inflammation in the placenta.

Lead researcher and PhD student Megan Jones said while it was well known that fish oil could be beneficial for development, this latest research suggested it may also improve the function of the placenta.

"Many people will have heard that fish oil is good for you but we don't fully understand the mechanisms," she said. "The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are known to limit inflammation, and only recently it has come to light that they do this by being converted to resolvins that reduce inflammation after it's occurred.

"These findings significantly help further our understanding of how fish oil intake may be beneficial during pregnancy."

Ms Jones pointed out that human trials were needed to confirm the findings and further explore the effects.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fish oil lowers stress response

Jun 11, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Fish oil supplements may protect the heart in stressful situations, according to a recent research study.

Fish oil supplements may help fight against Type 2 diabetes

May 22, 2013

Widely-used fish oil supplements modestly increase amounts of a hormone that is associated with lower risk of diabetes and heart disease, according to a study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of ...

Nothing fishy about fish oil fortified nutrition bars

Sep 25, 2012

In today's fast-paced society, consumers often reach for nutrition bars when looking for a healthy on-the-go snack. A new study in the September issue of the Journal of Food Science published by the Institute of Food Techno ...

Recommended for you

Fun and games make for better learners

1 hour ago

Four minutes of physical activity can improve behaviour in the classroom for primary school students, according to new research by Brendon Gurd.

Halloween at the ER is no treat

7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating may seem like harmless fun, but Halloween injuries send many children to emergency rooms in the United States every year, experts say.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.