Taking fish oil during pregnancy could protect babies from eczema, say scientists

Tests found children whose mums took omega-3 supplements in pregnancy were less likely to develop the dry skin condition

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Mums-to-be who take fish oils during pregnancy could help protect their unborn baby from eczema, claim scientists.

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A study of 706 pregnant women with a family history of eczema has revealed that those who took Efalex® Mother & Baby Omega-3 supplements were a third less likely to pass on the skin condition to their children.

As part of the study, half of the women were given fish oil capsules to take three times a day from 21 weeks into the pregnancy until the birth while the other half were given a placebo of vegetable oil.

The scientists at Adelaide University, Australia, also found children whose mums took the supplements were 50% less likely to develop an allergy to eggs before turning the age of 1.

The researchers believe that omega-3 fatty acids affect the unborn baby’s immune system that protects against eczema. These can be found in oily fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel.

Pregnant women are advised by the government not to eat more than four portions of fish a week as they can contain high levels of mercury and be harmful to the baby. Omega-3 can be taken in a daily supplement. 

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