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CRN responds to JAMA fish oil study
Date:10/19/2010

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Dr. MacKay continued that the timeliness of the dosing may have had an impact. "Supplementation occurred from mid-term to deliverywe know that maternal DHA status returns to below pre-pregnancy levels within a few weeks from delivery. A mother in the treatment group who started the trial with low DHA status would have returned to pre-pregnancy status by the time she was evaluated for depression at six weeks and six months post delivery. We may have seen different results if these women took fish oil consistently leading up to, during and after pregnancy, or if we were able to stratify the results based on DHA status."

This applies to the findings for the infants, as well, as there is no information about what they were given in the eighteen month period following birthsome infants in the control group may have received DHA through breast milk if the mother was eating fish or taking fish oil supplements, or through DHA-enriched formula.

"Essentially, DHA status needs to be adequate throughout pregnancy for women and their infants to receive the many established benefits," continued Dr. MacKay. "We must also remember that both depression and childhood development are impacted by many different variables and maintaining good nutrition is just one important preventive step mothers can take to achieve the best outcomes. Taking fish oil has so many benefits; although this study did not prove that DHA dramatically impacted these complicated issues under these specific conditions, it's still widely known to be important for pregnant women and their offspring."

The DHA to Optimize Mother Infant Outcome (DOMInO) trial was conducted in five Australian maternity hospitals of 2,399 pregnant women who were less than 21 weeks' gestation to determine if taking fish oil provided 1) reduced risk of depressive symptoms in the postnatal period, and 2) improved developmental outcomes in the offspring.

Secondary study findings showed that the
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Contact: Erin Hlasney
ehlasney@crnusa.org
202-204-7684
Council for Responsible Nutrition
Source:Eurekalert

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