Research out of Australia has shown that giving pregnant women a DHA supplement reduces the chances of preterm delivery by 15 percent.
DHA is an omega 3 fat that is found in fish oil and also in vegan DHA supplements, which are derived from algae. This research was published in the journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids.
The trial involved 2399 pregnant women who were each given 800mg of DHA each day or a placebo. Those women who took DHA were more likely to carry their baby to full term. This would provide a cost saving of between 15 and 51 million Australian dollars each year to the Australian public hospital system. Not only that, it would offer significant health benefits to infants. Premature babies are at increased risk of health problems. These include brain and neurological abnormalities, digestive problems and breathing difficulties. Premature babies are at increased risk of developmental delays and learning problems when they start school.
Many people do not eat enough oily fish such as sardines, herrings, anchovies or wild salmon. Requirements for omega 3 oils increase significantly during pregnancy and lactation. Taking a fish oil or vegan DHA supplement is highly worthwhile.