Research underway on improving baby health with omega-3 fats

First@Five 01/03/2018
Photo: Getty.

Research underway could give pregnant mothers an easy way to improve the lifelong health of their child.

And fish oil is the prospective answer.

Dr Ben Albert from the University of Auckland joined James Coleman on First@Five to discuss the research his team is conducting.

The research focuses on women carrying more weight on average, and how their metabolisms affect their children long-term.

The omega-3 fats in fish oil, Dr Albert suggests, may be able to assist with potential consequences for children of heavier mothers.

Those omega-3 fats can change the way a mother’s metabolism works.

“The aim there is to change the environment that the unborn baby is exposed to,” he said. “And to prevent them from developing these problems long-term.” 

However, the quality of the fish oil is essential for a favourable outcome. Dr Albert indicated that tests show that oxidised fish oil can actually cause harm to babies.

Before the research is complete, a mother’s safest bet is to obtain omega-3 from natural sources like fish.

“I think that’s a much better approach, at the moment anyway.”

Listen to the full interview above. 

First At Five with James Coleman, 5am - 6am Monday To Friday, on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.