Fish oil taken throughout being pregnant boosts problem-solving and focus in youngsters

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New evidence suggests that children of mothers who took fish oil during their pregnancy have faster problem-solving skills and better attention-focusing by the age of 10.

An EU-funded study was presented today at the 6th World Congress on Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

This is the first study to investigate the long-term effects of maternal fish oil and / or 5-MTHF (folic acid) supplementation on resting state functioning – when a person is not engaged in a cognitive or active task – school-aged children.

Professor Dr. Berthold Koletzko, Head of Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine at Dr. von Hauner Kinderklinik, University Hospital Munich, Germany, one of the authors of the study, explains: “The results show that the quality of maternal nutrient supply during the period” of rapid early brain development in pregnancy has a lasting influence on later brain function in school age Therefore, before and during pregnancy, women should be supported in achieving a high quality diet and advised on the possible use of fish oil supplements. ‘

Study coordinator and director of the EURISTIKOS Center of Excellence in Pediatric Research at the University of Granada, Spain, Professor Christina Campoy added: “Our research shows that children of mothers who took fish oil in the second half of pregnancy have improved memories .

The study tracked 57 children born to mothers from a previous research program who were given 500 mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and 150 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) fish oils, either with or without 400 µg 5-MTHF (folic acid). Acid), folic acid alone, or placebo, during the second half of pregnancy.

Professor Magnus Domellöf, Chair of the ESPGHAN Nutrition Committee, commented: “The results of this study show that early nutrition during pregnancy can have a significant impact on brain development in children, with the potential to improve cognitive performance. We look forward to testing the results of this study in further studies. ‘

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