Even more benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have been found this week. Researchers at Emory University have discovered that consuming these compounds during pregnancy may protect babies against diseases that can occur in infancy.
“This is a large scale, robust study that underscores the importance of good nutrition during pregnancy,” said researcher Usha Ramakrishnan, Ph.D. “Our findings indicate that pregnant women taking 400 mg of DHA (omega-3s) are more likely to deliver healthier infants.”
Babies whose mothers took omega-3 supplements saw a 25 percent reduction in cold symptoms during their first month of life. After three months, the babies spent 14 percent less time ill. By the time they reached 6 months of age, the children were experiencing less difficulty breathing and shorter incidences of fever.
All of the infants who participated in the study were breastfed. Researchers also found increased levels of omega-3s in the breast milk, suggesting that may be why the babies experienced the effects of the omega-3s long even after being born.