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The Effectiveness of Perinatal Omega-3 Supplements in Neurodevelopment and Physical Growth of 9- and 12-month-old Infants: A Follow-up of a Clinical Trial.

BACKGROUND: Omega-3 fatty acids (FAs) are essential long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) that are essential for optimal health and development.

OBJECTIVE: The present study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of maternal fish oil (containing omega-3 LCPUFA) intake from 21th week of pregnancy to 30 days postpartum for neurodevelopment and growth of infants at 9 and 12 months.

METHODS: This was a follow-up study of a triple-blinded clinical trial. The study population was 9-- month-old infants. Their mothers were randomly divided into two groups of 75 people with a 1:1 ratio to take one fish oil supplement or a placebo daily. The anthropometric indicators of infants at months 9 and 12 and neurodevelopment at month 12 by the ASQ questionnaire were measured. In the fish oil and placebo groups, respectively, 73 and 71 infants at nine months, as well as 71 and 69 at 12 months, were analyzed.

RESULTS: No statistically significant impact was observed following consuming omega-3 capsules on the neurodevelopmental domains, growth parameters, and the profile of maternal serum FAs (p > 0.05) except DHA. Neurodevelopmental problems were illustrated in one case in the intervention group and two cases in the placebo group.

CONCLUSION: Perinatal relatively low-dose omega-3 LCPUFAs supplements indicated no statistically significant impacts on the growth and neurodevelopment of 9- and 12-month-old infants in a population with low consumption of marine products. Further studies investigating the effect of higher doses of omega-3 LCPUFAs are suggested.

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