Effect of fish oil supplementation in pregnancy on bone, lean, and fat mass at six years: randomised clinical trial

Rebecca Kofod Vinding, Jakob Stokholm, Astrid Sevelsted, Tobias Sejersen, Bo L. Chawes, Klaus Bønnelykke, Jonathan Thorsen, Laura D. Howe, Martin Krakauer, Hans Bisgaard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
486 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objective To examine the effect of supplementation with n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA) in pregnancy on anthropometry and body composition in offspring. Design Double blinded, randomised controlled trial. Setting Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood 2010 cohort. Participants 736 pregnant women and their offspring. Intervention n-3 LCPUFA (fish oil) or control (olive oil) daily from pregnancy week 24 until one week after birth. Main outcome measures Height/length, weight, head, and waist measurements and body composition from dual energy x ray absorptiometry (all pre-specified secondary endpoints of the n-3 LCPUFA trial; the primary outcome for the trial was persistent wheeze/asthma). Results The mean body mass index (BMI) z score was increased between age 0 and 6 years in the fish oil supplementation group compared with the control group (0.14 (95% confidence interval 0.04 to 0.23); P=0.006). At 6 years, supplementation was associated with a higher BMI z score (0.19 (0.06 to 0.32); P=0.004), a higher weight/height (3.48 (0.38 to 6.57) g/cm; P=0.03), and a larger waist circumference (0.6 (0.0 to 1.2) cm; P=0.04) but not a higher proportion of obese children, using International Obesity Task Force grades. The dual energy x ray absorptiometry scan at age 6 years showed a higher total mass (395.4 (86.6 to 704.3) g; P=0.01) in the supplementation versus the control group, explained by a higher lean mass (280.7 (98.9 to 462.4) g; P=0.002), a higher bone mineral content (10.3 (2.3 to 18.1) g; P=0.01), and a non-significantly higher fat mass (116.3 (-92.9 to 325.5) g; P=0.28), but no differences were seen in total body fat or lean mass percentage. Conclusion Fish oil supplementation from the 24th week of pregnancy led to a higher BMI in the offspring from 0 to 6 years of age but not an increased risk of obesity at age 6. The body composition at age 6 years in children given fish oil supplementation was characterised by a proportional increase in lean, bone, and fat mass suggesting a general growth stimulating effect of n-3 LCPUFA.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberk3312
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ
Volume362
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sep 2018

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