Fish Oil Supplements Taken In Pregnancy Can Reduce Babies' Eczema Risk

31/01/2012 21:02 | Updated 22 May 2015
Fish oil supplementsPA

Fish oils have long since been promoted as being a good supplement for kids, improving everything from brain power to concentration and behaviour, but now scientists are claiming they can reduce an unborn baby's risk of getting eczema.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide who undertook a study on 2,400 pregnant women found that mums who took an omega-3 supplement whilst they were pregnant had babies who were 36 per cent less likely to suffer the skin condition.

The study also found the babies were 50 per cent less likely to have egg allergies.

Fish oils are high in Omega-3 fatty acids which play a crucial part in human growth and brain function, but as the body cannot produce them itself, they have to come through food or supplements.

As well as being shown to reduce allergies, fish oils were also said to help reduce the likelihood of early onset labour. Dr Alex Richardson, co-founder of the UK charity Food and Behaviour Research, told The Mirror that omega-3 supplements led to 'highly-significant' reductions in premature births and low-weight babies.

He said: "The latest findings show omega-3 supplementation during pregnancy also led to dramatic reductions in the proportions of children suffering from either atopic eczema or allergic sensitisation to egg protein."

Eczema affects a fifth of children in the UK, and can range from mild rashes to severe, broken and bleeding skin. The researchers say 1g of fish oil a day in the second half of pregnancy could hugely cut the rate of skin conditions in babies.

What do you think? Did you take fish oil supplements in pregnancy? Or will you now?

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