Nutritional supplement 'could help reduce risk of premature births'

14 October 2016

A new study has shown how daily docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplements could potentially help to reduce women's risk of experiencing premature births.

The University of Kansas research looked at data from clinical trials in which pregnant women took daily DHA supplements, finding statistically significant reductions in early preterm birth.

From these findings, they developed a statistical model estimating that more than 106,000 high-risk early preterm births could be avoided in the US alone if pregnant women took daily supplements of this omega fatty acid.

Susan Carlson, professor of nutrition at the University of Kansas Medical Center, said: "At present there is no effective method to prevent spontaneous early preterm birth. Our recent studies suggest that DHA could be a promising agent for reducing this critical public health problem."

DHA occurs naturally in cell membranes with the highest levels in brain cells, but levels can be increased by diet or supplements. Infants obtain DHA from their mothers in utero and postnatally from human milk.

Posted by Philip Briggs


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