Effect of supplementation of women in high-risk pregnancies with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids on pregnancy outcomes and growth measures at birth

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The present data suggest that supplementation with n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) in women with high-risk pregnancies reduced the risk of early preterm delivery in the fatty acid-supplemented group compared with the placebo group, while no other effects on pregnancy outcomes were detected.

LC-PUFTA intake during pregnancy has been considered to have positive effects on pre-eclampsia, pregnancy-induced hypertension or intra-uterine growth retardation, and is essential for optimal neural development. This review aimed to evaluate the effects of LC-PUFTA supplementation to the diets of women with high-risk pregnancies on pregnancy outcomes and growth measures at birth. Four randomized or quazi-randomized trials with 1264 participants were included in this review, independently reviewed according to inclusion criteria by two separate reviewers. Results showed no evidence for the effect of LC-PUFTA on the duration of pregnancy or the percentage of preterm deliveries however, a significantly lower rate of early preterm delivery was observed. No significant difference in infant birth weight, rate of low birth weight and recurrence of intra-uterine growth retardation was observed. Other pregnancy outcomes were noted to be of little difference in the control and supplementation groups.

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