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Fish oil during pregnancy does not protect against excessive adipose tissue development
Date:1/4/2012

ramming theory. Hauner and his researchers closely observed and monitored 208 expectant mothers from the start of their pregnancies. One group increased its intake of Omega 3 fatty acids by taking fish oil capsules and reducing meat-based meals during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The control group maintained its usual diet and refrained from taking fish oil capsules. In both groups, skinfold thickness (SFT) measurements were used to estimate infant adipose tissue growth at regular intervals up until the age of 12 months. For the first time in infants of this age, ultrasound was also used to measure the fat layer at defined sites over the abdomen. The results show no difference in infant adipose tissue growth between the two groups. This study thus refutes the perinatal programming theory. The INFAT study thus revealed no evidence to support the effectiveness of fish oil capsules during pregnancy as a way to control excessive weight gain in infants.

So how seriously can we take claims that food supplements increase intelligence, protect against allergies and help avoid obesity? "Many of the claims associated with food supplements should be treated with caution," continues Hauner. "Prenatal development is a complex process that cannot be reduced to a simple correlation between nutrient intake and fat mass growth. There are a number of additional, environmental factors and mechanisms that influence body weight for instance in daycare or at school." Hence the INFAT study will continue to monitor the children at regular intervals until they reach the age of five. The team now plans to explore other assumptions surrounding the beneficial properties of Omega 3 fatty acids in relation, for example, to protection against asthma or neurodermatitis. INFAT is the first prospective, dietary intervention study to provide a rich data set to explore these assumptions.


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Contact: Hans Hauner
hauner@tum.de
49-089-289-24911
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Source:Eurekalert

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