According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, supplementation with n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) is associated with a reduction in the risk of persistent wheeze and asthma in offspring — for women in the third trimester of pregnancy.
Hans Bisgaard, MD, from Herlev and Gentofte Hospital in Hellerup, Denmark, and colleagues randomized 736 pregnant women at 24 weeks of gestation to 2.4 grams n-3 LCPUFAs or placebo.
Their children formed the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood2010 cohort and were followed prospectively. For the first 3 years of the children’s lives, neither the investigators nor the participants were aware of the group assignments.
Six hundred ninety-five children were included in the trial and 95.5% completed the 3-year follow-up period. The researchers found that the risk of persistent wheeze or asthma was 16.9 and 23.7% in the treatment and control groups, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.69), corresponding to a relative reduction of 30.7%.