Perinatal fish oil consumption boosts communication domain in four-month-old infants: Trial

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

A statistically significant difference was observed in the communication domain at the fourth month. ©iStock
A statistically significant difference was observed in the communication domain at the fourth month. ©iStock

Related tags Fish oil Pregnancy

Perinatal fish oil supplementation is beneficial for the communication neurodevelopment of four-month-old infants, but its impact on other cognitive skills remains inconclusive.

That was the main finding of a study to evaluate the effect of fish oil supplementation on the development and growth of four and six-month-old babies.

In a triple-blind randomised controlled trial, 150 pregnant women aged 18–35 years in Iran were randomly allocated into two groups.

One group of women consumed fish oil supplementation (containing 120mg docosahexaenoic acid and 180mg eicosapentaenoic acid) daily, while the other consumed a placebo from the 20th week of pregnancy until 30 days after childbirth. 

The neurodevelopment of infants was the primary outcome; it was assessed using the ages and stages questionnaire (ASQ) at four and six months of age.

Inconclusive finding

Although the mean scores of neurodevelopment at the end of four and six months were higher in the supplemented group than in the placebo group in each ASQ domain, a statistically significant difference was observed only in the communication domain at the fourth month.

There was no significant difference in weight, length, or head circumference between the two groups.

“The study results relating to the supplementation effect on other neurodevelopment domains are inconclusive,”​ wrote researchers in the European Journal of Nutrition​.

“There ought to be further studies with up-to-date lipidomic analysis to find biochemical correlate compared to an intervention and developmental finding,”​ they added.

Source: European Journal of Nutrition

“The effect of perinatal fish oil supplementation on neurodevelopment and growth of infants: a randomized controlled trial”

Author: Azizeh Farshbaf-Khalili, et al.

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