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Effect of Fish Oil Supplementation in Pregnancy

BMJ; ePub 2018 Sep 4; Vinding, Stokholm, et al

Fish oil supplementation from the 24th week of pregnancy led to a higher body mass index (BMI) in the offspring from age 0-6 years but not an increased risk of obesity at age 6. This according to the results from a randomized clinical trial of 736 pregnant women and their offspring that examined the effect of supplementation with n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA) in pregnancy on anthropometry and body composition in offspring. Participants were randomized to either n-3 LCPUFA (fish oil) or control (olive oil) daily from pregnancy week 24 until 1 week after birth. Among the findings:

  • n-3 LCPUFA supplementation in pregnancy led to increased BMI in childhood, with sustained elevated BMI from age 1-6 years.
  • There was no difference in fat percentage.
  • However, a proportional increase in lean mass, bone mass, and fat mass was observed at age 6 years.


Vinding RK, Stokholm J, Sevelsted A, et al. Effect of fish oil supplementation in pregnancy on bone, lean, and fat mass at six years: Randomised clinical trial. [Published online ahead of print September 4, 2018]. doi:10.1136/bmj.k3312.