Omega 3 supplementation of pregnant and breastfeeding women is linked to less immunoglobulin E-associated diseases - such as atopic dermatitis, allergic asthma and food allergies - in their babies, new research shows.
The researchers from Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden, have previously reported a protective effect of maternal omega-3 fatty acid supplements on the development of immunoglobulin E (IgE) associated disease in infancy.
In the present study they randomised 95 pregnant women at risk of having an allergic infant, to daily supplements of 2.6g omega-3 LCPUFA or a placebo of 2.7g soy bean oil from gestational week 25 until three months of lactation. Breast milk samples were collected as colostrum, at one and three months. Milk fatty acids were related to allergic outcome in the infants at 24 months.
They found high omega-3 LCPUFA milk levels in mothers who received omega-3 LCPUFA supplements which were related to fewer allergies in their children compared to the placebo group.
None of the children developed IgE associated atopic eczema below a level of 0.83mol% eicosapentaenoic acid in colostrum.
Acta Paediatr. 2016 DOI: 10.1111/apa.13395 Article first published online: 8 APR 2016