Fish oil supplementation during pregnancy could help protect against asthma/wheeze in the offspring. The diagnosis of asthma has doubled in recent decades. It know affects as many as 1 in 5 young children in the U.S. and Europe. Attempts to prevent it include encouraging breast feeding, administering probiotics and reducing exposure to allergens, although this has not lowered the incidence. Prenatal supplementation with vitamin D3 and fish oil have recently been shown to reduce asthma and wheeze in children.
A recent study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, titled “Fish oil supplementation during pregnancy is protective against asthma/wheeze in offspring” enrolled 881 pregnant women at 10 to 18 weeks gestation. They were randomized to received fish oil supplementation/vitamin D and to evaluate the effect of asthma/wheeze in the offspring by 3 years of age.
The conclusions of the study showed that fish oil and vitamin D reduce the risk of asthma and wheeze. The protective effect of fish oil was driven by the highest doses, with the greatest decrease in risk seen in those women who took more than 500mg/week relative to those women who took none. The greatest reduction in risk of asthma/recurrent wheeze among the offspring were those who took fish oil supplements in the first and third trimesters.
The authors concluded, both fish oil and vitamin D3 are recommended during pregnancy; however, a more comprehensive assessment of vitamin D3 and fish oil supplementation during pregnancy may provide further insight into the biologic mechanisms at play.
It is always important to speak to your doctor what medications or supplements you can and can not take during pregnancy. What is right for one person, may not be right for another. More studies would need to be done to see if this can be an accepted practice for those who are pregnant.