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Omega 3 fatty acids can reduce risk of premature birth, finds Cochrane review

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k4890 (Published 16 November 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4890

An increased intake of omega 3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) during pregnancy can reduce the risk of premature births, a new Cochrane review1 has found.

Researchers looked at 70 randomised trials (involving 19 927 women at low, mixed, or high risk of poor pregnancy outcomes) to examine the role of long chain omega 3 fats in reducing the risk of premature births. They particularly focused on docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) found in fatty fish and fish oil supplements.

The analysis found that increasing the daily intake …

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