According to their work, the risk of developing asthma was reduced by 63% in those whose mothers had been given fish oil supplements during the last trimester of their pregnancy. This study is part of the EU funded EARNEST project with scientists from 38 institutions in 16 European countries. It is published today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The research was carried out by a team from Denmark as part of the EU-funded EARNEST project, a project of the Sixth European Framework Programme for Research and Development. In the original trial conducted in 1990, more than 500 pregnant women were randomised into three different groups for the last 10 weeks of their pregnancy. One group was given fish oil supplements, another olive oil supplements and the third no supplements.
The aim of that trial was to see whether fish oil reduced the risk of pre-term delivery and low birth weight. Mothers in the fish oil supplementation group increased, on average, the length of their pregnancies by 4 days and the average birth weight of their babies by about 100g. The researchers managed to trace all but three of the babies born to the mothers in the original trial. By the time they were sixteen years old, 19 children had developed such severe asthma at some point that they had had to go to hospital. There were though proportionally fewer children in the fish oil group compared with other groups. The risk of developing asthma was reduced by 63% in those whose mothers had been given fish oil supplements.
According to the lead investigator, there is strong biochemical evidence that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil may have effects on the immune system. The reason fish oil might protect a foetus from developing asthma in later life could possibly also be related to its effect on increasing pregnancy duration.
Pre-term children have a higher risk of developing asthma and it is possible that the omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oils could both reduce the risk of pre-term birth and the likelihood of a baby later becoming asthmatic. It may be that the period shortly before delivery is the critical window for these effects of omega 3 fatty acids.
However, it is important that these first results are confirmed by other trials before changing any dietary recommendations for pregnant women.
This study was carried out as part of a much larger ongoing research project funded by the European Commission to investigate the effects of early nutrition on later health outcomes, the Early Nutrition Programming Project www.metabolic-programming.org.
The implications of early nutrition programming are important: differences in risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity, in immune function and allergy risk. The potential for improving the health of future generations is enormous and the European Commission intends to develop this research in the 7the Framework Programme (2007-2013).
More on EARNEST: it is a five years project (2005-2010) funded under the Food Quality and Safety Priority of the Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Development and the EU is contributing 13.4 millions EUR. It is following up a number of intervention trials in early life to see whether the interventions have long term effects on programming various physiological functions.
Catherine Ray | alfa
Hopkins researchers ID neurotransmitter that helps cancers progress
25.04.2019 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Trigger region found for absence epileptic seizures
25.04.2019 | RIKEN
Flexible, organic and printed electronics conquer everyday life. The forecasts for growth promise increasing markets and opportunities for the industry. In Europe, top institutions and companies are engaged in research and further development of these technologies for tomorrow's markets and applications. However, access by SMEs is difficult. The European project SmartEEs - Smart Emerging Electronics Servicing works on the establishment of a European innovation network, which supports both the access to competences as well as the support of the enterprises with the assumption of innovations and the progress up to the commercialization.
It surrounds us and almost unconsciously accompanies us through everyday life - printed electronics. It starts with smart labels or RFID tags in clothing, we...
The human eye is particularly sensitive to green, but less sensitive to blue and red. Chemists led by Hubert Huppertz at the University of Innsbruck have now developed a new red phosphor whose light is well perceived by the eye. This increases the light yield of white LEDs by around one sixth, which can significantly improve the energy efficiency of lighting systems.
Light emitting diodes or LEDs are only able to produce light of a certain colour. However, white light can be created using different colour mixing processes.
Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.
Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...
A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter
A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.
Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
09.04.2019 | Event News
25.04.2019 | Materials Sciences
25.04.2019 | Earth Sciences
25.04.2019 | Life Sciences