Pregnant women have long known about the positive effects of eating tuna and salmon during pregnancy to leverage the benefits of the Omega-3 fatty acids found in these seafood. Omega-3 is thought to be crucial to the development of certain brain functions in developing fetuses.
The advantages of eating these fish, however, have been tempered by a fear of mercury contamination, notably in tuna. Without any exact proof about the effects of either substance on fetuses, women have been left to sort out on their own whether the risks of eating the seafood are worth the benefits.
A new study out of Australia, however, has proven conclusively that women who take omega-3 supplements lower the risk of their infants developing eczema by one-third. The largest of its kind, the study examined 700 pregnant women and found mothers given fish oil capsules were three times less likely than those women who received placebo supplements to pass on eczema to their children.
The scientific hypothesis is that the omega-3 fatty acids are absorbed by the fetal cell membranes and work to reduce the presence leukotriene B4, an inflammatory substance that plays a role in producing eczema.
All mothers want their newborns to have perfect skin, and it’s hard to accept the awful looking and painful dry itchy skin that our infants sometimes develop. Although we all know that what we eat during pregnancy affects our kids, this study offers hard proof for the benefits of fish oil. That is something as parents we can definitely get behind.