A new study from Australia has claimed that omega-3 fish oils are not as effective in reducing complications from pregnancy as previously believed.
Previous research had argued that fatty acids from omega-3 could improve the control of blood sugar and vascular health and help protect women from both gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, complications that can arise during pregnancy and which are potentially fatal for both mother and child. However, this study has shown that there is is no key difference between women who take omega-3 pills and those that don’t.
The research, carried out at the University of Adelaide and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, involved examining data on 2,400 women between October 2005 and January 2008 to assess if the fish oils could provide some protection during pregnancy. Participants took three daily capsules containing either fish oil rich in docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 or a mixture of three vegetable oils without knowing which.
In total, eight per cent of those taking part developed gestational diabetes, while five per cent developed pre-eclampsia. Those who had the fish oil supplement experienced a three per cent reduced risk of gestational diabetes and a 13 per cent less risk of pre-eclampsia than women on the vegetable oil pills. However, the findings were not statistically significant and could have been produced by chance.
Study leader Maria Makrides said “There’s no need to take fish oil if your outcome is to prevent gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia.”

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