Adding fish oil in pregnancy may lead to higher child BMI

September 7, 2018

(HealthDay)—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 () 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 . At age 6 years, the dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scan showed a higher total mass in the supplementation versus (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 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.

Explore further: Fish oil supplement in pregnancy is linked to increase in lean and bone mass by age six years

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