Use Of DHA Fish Oil Capsules Does Not Decrease Postpartum Depression In Mothers Or Improve Cognitive Or Language Development Of Offspring

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In contrast to the findings of some studies and the recommendations that pregnant women increase their intake of fish oil via dietary docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) because of the possible benefits, a randomized trial that included more than 2,000 women finds that use of DHA supplements did not result in lower levels of postpartum depression in mothers or improved cognitive and language development in their offspring during early childhood ...

... "Despite the paucity of evidence, recommendations exist to increase intake of DHA in pregnancy, and the nutritional supplement industry successfully markets prenatal supplements with DHA to optimize brain function of mother and infant. Before DHA supplementation in pregnancy becomes widespread, it is important to know not only if there are benefits, but also of any risks for either the mother or child," the authors state.

"Current recommendations suggest that pregnant women increase their dietary DHA to improve their health outcomes as well as those of their children. Such recommendations are increasingly being adopted with women taking prenatal supplements with DHA," the authors write. "However, the results of [this trial] do not support routine DHA supplementation for pregnant women to reduce depressive symptoms or to improve cognitive or language outcomes in early childhood." ...

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448