Women who consume fish during pregnancy are just as likely to protect their offspring from developing asthma as those who consume fish oil supplements, suggests a new study.
Pregnant women who consume high doses of omega-3 fatty acids in the third trimester may help protect their kids from developing breathing problems in their early childhood, according to the study.
"With almost equal to slightly higher cost, consuming 8-12 ounces (2-3 servings) of fish with low mercury levels a week not only may attain the same asthma protection, but also strengthen the nutritional benefits to infant growth and development," said Richard Lockey, Professor at the University of South Florida in the US.
The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, was conducted in three groups of women in their third trimester.
The first group consumed omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil daily while the second group took a placebo. The third group was named the "no oil" group who were allowed to consume either fish or fish oil supplements as per their choices.
The researchers found that the children in the fish oil and the "no oil" groups took less asthma medication as they aged to 24 years old, inferring both groups developed less asthma.
"Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be synthesised by humans and therefore are essential nutrients which are derived exclusively from marine sources," said iChen Hsing Lin from the University of South Florida.