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Maternal dietary supplementation with fish oil during pregnancy is safe for the foetus and infant, and may result in better hand-eye coordination.
In this study 98 women were supplemented either with 4 g of fish oil comprised of 2.2 g DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and 1.1 g EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), or 4 g of olive oil each day for 20 weeks of pregnancy until delivery. At the age of 2 ½ years the babies were tested for growth, assessment of language, behaviour, practical reasoning and hand-eye coordination. Even though no significant differences in growth or language assessment were observed between the groups the hand-eye coordination was higher amongst the children of fish-oil-supplementing mothers. The researchers were able to link high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the cord blood with good hand-eye coordination.
J A Dunstan et al (2006) Cognitive assessment at 2 ½ years following fish oil supplementation in pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. Archives of Disease in Childhood and Fetal Neonatal Education, des 21.