Pregnant mothers taking supplemental fish oil, which contains Omega-3 fatty acids, may significantly reduce asthma risk in children.

Researchers selected 736 pregnant women who were 24 weeks into the gestation period. They randomly administered some of the women a daily dose of 2.4 grams of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) in the form of fish oil. The control group received a daily dose of olive oil as a placebo.

During the 5-year period, researchers monitored the children’s health for asthma and persistent wheeze, as well as respiratory tract infections, asthma complications, eczema, and sensitization to allergens.

Pregnant women who took the daily dose of LCPUFA during the third trimester reduced their children’s risk of developing asthma or persistent wheeze by almost 31%.

The treatment group had a 16.9% risk of persistent wheeze or asthma, compared with 23.7% in the control group. This corresponds to a relative risk decrease of 30.7%.