Children whose parents took supplements had higher BMI caused by overall increase in growth, rather than excess unhealthy fat, Danish research shows
Children whose mothers take fish oil supplements during pregnancy have more muscle and stronger bones in early childhood, a new trial has found.
Research from the University of Copenhagen has found that women who took the omega-3 fatty acid pills daily from halfway through their pregnancy had children with a higher BMI by age six.
X-ray scans revealed these children weren’t simply carrying more unhealthy fat as they also had more lean muscle, and higher bone density than the children whose mothers took an olive oil placebo pill instead. It also showed they were less likely to have asthma or related respiratory symptoms.
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The findings suggest the supplement is stimulating growth and follows another study already being considered by the UK government which could lead to all mothers being recommended the supplements before giving birth.
Omega-3 fats are a group of long chain fat molecules abundant in cod liver oil and other supplements variously promoted as helping to protect against heart disease, improving brain power and joint health.
These essential fats can’t be made by our bodies and need to come from our diet, and they are by far the most widely taken dietary supplement in the UK and a cornerstone of a global health industry worth billions each year.
However recent studies have cast doubt on health claims made for omega-3 and other health supplements in adulthood, but they may be more critical in early development.
A recent analysis by Imperial College London found that children whose mothers who took them during pregnancy significantly reduced their chances of developing food allergies, and is being considered by British government to be included in official guidelines.
Published in the British Medical Journal the