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    Blossoming Evidence
    By Anna Ohlden | December 21st 2007 09:30 AM | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    LONDON, December 21 /PRNewswire/ --

    - Prenatal Omega 3 Supplementation has Long-Term Health Benefits for Unborn Babies

    A new longitudinal study has shown that the benefits of prenatal omega 3 supplementation extend to the child's motor function in later life(1). The study, conducted in the Netherlands over 7 years, followed 300 children and related their motor abilities back to umbilical blood samples, which showed the levels of omega 3 essential fatty acid, Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) at the time of birth.

    The positive relationship between DHA concentration and motor ability revealed by this latest research support findings of an earlier study on pregnant women taking fish oil during pregnancy(2). It adds weight to the growing body of evidence suggesting that DHA rich omega 3 supplements, such as Equazen mumomega, have real long-term health benefits for mothers' unborn babies.

    This year an EU committee of over 50 experts recommended that pregnant and nursing women should include at least 200mg of DHA in their diet every day(3). The expert committee found that pregnant women who had included DHA omega-3 in their diet had babies with higher birth weights and fewer premature births. Health benefits were also observed in their babies, who displayed enhanced brain and eye development.

    Addressing the wider issue of optimum nutrition during pregnancy is also high on the government's agenda, as ministers consider controversial cash hand-outs for expectant mothers. If successful, the new proposal should serve to facilitate a healthier diet during pregnancy; ensuring that unborn babies will receive the essential nutrients they need whilst developing in the womb.

    Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to be especially important during pregnancy, when the baby draws on its mother's brain as a source of fatty acids to help with its own development. In fact research has found that the maternal brain shrinks by 3% during pregnancy. In addition, breastfeeding leads to an additional loss of another 50-80mg of fatty acids each day(4).

    Other research from an extensive study shows that mothers who eat more oily fish during pregnancy give birth to babies who go on to have a higher IQ, and more advanced social skills later in life(5).

    In particular, the amount of omega-3 in a pregnant woman's diet can help to determine her child's intelligence, fine-motor skills (such as the ability to manipulate small objects, and hand-eye co-ordination) and also disposition to anti-social behaviour(6).

    DHA can be found in oily fish, although Food Standards Agency (FSA) guidelines advise pregnant women to eat no more than two portions a week due to possibility of the fish containing pollutants such as PCBs and dioxides. mumomega(TM) contains a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil which has been cleaned of all pollutants and impurities and is in full compliance with European Union and World Health Organization regulations.

    mumomega(TM) pregnancy (GBP11.99 for 30 capsules) is available from Boots and Tesco. For further information or mail order, call +44(0)870-241-5621 or http://www.equazen.com.

    (1) "Relationship between long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids at birth and motor function at 7 years of age"

    European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 19 December 2007; E.C. Bakker, G. Hornstra, C.E. Blanco and J.S.H. Vles

    (2) Archives of Disease in Childhood (Fetal and Neonatal Edition)

    (3) Athens, 29th August 2007

    (4) Hornstra, G AM J c/in Nutr 2000; 71: 12625-12695

    (5) Stereoacuity at age 3.5 y in children born full-term is associated with prenatal and postnatal dietary factors: a report from a population-based cohort study

    (6) Willatts, P et al. A Study of the relation of maternal and infant long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids status to infant cognitive function.

    For more information, please contact Jane Sheard on +44(0)207-405-0974, email: jane@hellounity.com or Laura Coleman on +44(0)207-405-0974, laura@hellounity.com