In the Journals

N-3 fatty acid supplementation fails to reduce preterm delivery rate

Maternal supplementation with n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids did not reduce rates of early preterm deliveries, nor did it affect rates of post-term delivery interventions, according to randomized trial results published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

“The World Health Organization recommends an intake of 300 mg of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids per day in pregnant women; however, the median intake among Australian and American women of childbearing age is less than one-third of this,” Maria Makrides, PhD, of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, and colleagues wrote.

Researchers also noted that data specific to the role of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in pregnancy are lacking.

Makrides and colleagues randomly assigned pregnant women in Australia to received fish-oil capsules containing either 900 mg of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n = 2,734) or vegetable-oil capsules that contained trace amounts of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n = 2,752). Their daily intakes began before 20 weeks’ gestation and continued to 34 weeks’ gestation or delivery, whichever occurred first.

Pregnant Woman 
Maternal supplementation with n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids did not reduce rates of early preterm deliveries, nor did it affect rates of post-term delivery interventions, according to randomized trial results published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Source: Shutterstock

Researchers found that there were 61 early preterm deliveries in the n-3 group and 55 early preterm deliveries in the vegetable-oil group. The between-group difference was not significant (adjusted RR = 1.13; 95% CI, 0.79-1.63), they said. Although there was a higher percentage of infants born to women at more than 41 weeks’ gestation in the n-3 group that were very large for gestational age at birth (adjusted RR = 1.3; 95% CI, 1.02-1.65), no other significant differences between the groups — in terms of adverse events or other pregnancy or neonatal outcomes — were reported.

In addition, minor gastrointestinal disturbances were more commonly reported in the n-3 group than in the control group, but percentages of serious adverse events did not differ between groups, according to researchers.

“Further study is needed to determine whether there may be benefit in women who have low n-3 levels,” Makrides and colleagues wrote. – by Janel Miller

Disclosure: Healio Primary Care was unable to determine the authors’ relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.

Maternal supplementation with n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids did not reduce rates of early preterm deliveries, nor did it affect rates of post-term delivery interventions, according to randomized trial results published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

“The World Health Organization recommends an intake of 300 mg of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids per day in pregnant women; however, the median intake among Australian and American women of childbearing age is less than one-third of this,” Maria Makrides, PhD, of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, and colleagues wrote.

Researchers also noted that data specific to the role of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in pregnancy are lacking.

Makrides and colleagues randomly assigned pregnant women in Australia to received fish-oil capsules containing either 900 mg of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n = 2,734) or vegetable-oil capsules that contained trace amounts of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n = 2,752). Their daily intakes began before 20 weeks’ gestation and continued to 34 weeks’ gestation or delivery, whichever occurred first.

Pregnant Woman 
Maternal supplementation with n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids did not reduce rates of early preterm deliveries, nor did it affect rates of post-term delivery interventions, according to randomized trial results published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Source: Shutterstock

Researchers found that there were 61 early preterm deliveries in the n-3 group and 55 early preterm deliveries in the vegetable-oil group. The between-group difference was not significant (adjusted RR = 1.13; 95% CI, 0.79-1.63), they said. Although there was a higher percentage of infants born to women at more than 41 weeks’ gestation in the n-3 group that were very large for gestational age at birth (adjusted RR = 1.3; 95% CI, 1.02-1.65), no other significant differences between the groups — in terms of adverse events or other pregnancy or neonatal outcomes — were reported.

In addition, minor gastrointestinal disturbances were more commonly reported in the n-3 group than in the control group, but percentages of serious adverse events did not differ between groups, according to researchers.

“Further study is needed to determine whether there may be benefit in women who have low n-3 levels,” Makrides and colleagues wrote. – by Janel Miller

Disclosure: Healio Primary Care was unable to determine the authors’ relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.