n−3 Fatty acids derived from fish oil reduce plasma triacylglycerols (triglycerides) and increase HDL-C (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol); however, the effect of n−3 fatty acid supplementation during pregnancy, a hyperlipidaemic state, remains unknown. We took the opportunity to investigate maternal lipid levels and blood pressure during and after pregnancy, and fetal lipid levels at birth, in a study that aimed primarily to examine the effect of fish oil supplementation during pregnancy on immune function in infants born to women with allergic disease. Eighty-three pregnant women who had allergic disease, but were otherwise healthy, completed the study. They were randomly allocated to receive fish oil or olive oil capsules, taken as 4 g/day, from 20 weeks of pregnancy until delivery. Compared with olive oil, fish oil supplementation did not alter triacylglycerols, total cholesterol, LDL-C (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) or HDL-C during or after pregnancy. There was also no effect of fish oil on cord blood triacylglycerols, total cholesterol, LDL-C or HDL-C. Fish oil supplementation during pregnancy did not alter maternal blood pressure during or after pregnancy. The effects of fish oil on lipids and blood pressure in non-pregnant individuals appear to be lost when it is administered during pregnancy.

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