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Omega-3 to prevent preterm birth?

Updated: Dec 25, 2020

I was attending a webinar today made by SAHMRI called "Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Reduce the Risk of Early Birth: Identifying and Treating the Women Most Likely to Benefit?" with Maria Makrides from South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute.

They were looking at the aspect of using Omega-3 to prevent the risk of early birth. Some reason why they were interested in this matter:

  • Population comparisons by Olsen

  • Backed up by biological plausibility

  • The fish oil fatty acids may alter oxylipin/cytokine balance to: -delay the initiation of labor and cervical ripening -relax the myometrium

  • Evidence from observational and interventional studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids extend the period of gestation and may reduce the frequency of prematurity

Omega-3 DHA and EPA in prenatal nutrition:

  • Much activity has been about testing the health effects of the omega-3 polyunsaturated or essential fatty acids.

  • Bioactive DHA and EPA are: -In all cell membranes -Putative roles in cell signaling and the regulation and resolution of inflammation -DHA is especially concentrated in the brain.

So I was eager to be joining in on this webinar and hear about their findings. They had seen on the DOMInO Birth Outcome research that:

  • Early preterm birth <34 weeks was lowered from 2,3% risk down to 1,1% risk.

  • Early birth <37 weeks was lowered from 7,3% down to 5,6%

But they also found that babies tended to want to stay longer in the womb showing the amount of induction and C-section rate went up. I want to stop here for a minute. Is it not possible that more babies would want to stay longer in a woman in a healthy pregnancy? And the effect of seeing this result is simply just "what would have been normal" if the women would stop having their babies too early?

In the DOMInO Birth Outcome study, they also saw:

  • Fewer admission to neonatal intensive care

  • Fewer cases of brain injury

  • Fewer perinatal deaths

They looked for other resources. The 2018 Cochrane Review showed:

  • Early preterm birth <34 weeks was lowered from 4,6% risk down to 2,7% risk (42% reduction)

  • Early birth <37 weeks was lowered from 13,4% down to 11,9% (11% reduction)

  • But they also found that babies tended to want to stay longer in the womb. So Birth >42 weeks increased from 1,6% to 2,6% chance.

  • Reduces the risk of having a small baby (less than 2500g) by 10%

There are not many options for preventing premature birth, so these findings are significant for pregnant women, babies, and health professionals who care for them.

But then they did a study that contradicts the results in the two studies above. They did a new study called ORIP trail, and the Omega-3 amount people used was ranging between 200mg - 2 700mg/d Omega-3 LCPUFA, and there was no consistency of quality of the Omega-3. I asked them! They could get their Omega-3 from eating eggs, capsules, fish, bars, dairy products, and fish oil med with vitamin E or that perhaps didn't even contain an antioxidant. They did use dried blood spot tests, but they measured the plasma! And They didn't measure the balance between Omega 6 to Omega 3—just the amount of total fatty acids levels. Many women were already using Omega 3, both of the women in the study and the control group. They just added more Omega 3 to the diet.

No significant difference was recorded between the groups in terms of early preterm birth (less than 34 weeks) nor the number of adverse pregnancy or neonatal outcomes. “Our previous projects, including the DOMInO trial and Cochrane Review, suggested that omega-3 fats could prevent preterm birth,” Dr. Best says. “However, these latest results from ORIP indicate the benefits for preventing preterm birth might be best achieved through a targeted supplementation strategy rather than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy.”

The ORIP data suggest omega-3 supplementation could be most useful for women with a single pregnancy and with low levels of omega-3 in their blood. Women who regularly eat fish or take a multivitamin supplement containing fish oil might not benefit from additional omega-3 supplements. But here is the thing: If you are adding an Omega 3 supplement - that is not bioavailable for that many hours and go ransom in your system before it is used, how can you expect a positive result? Ransom products are not beneficial and can even be more harmful to the body. It would be exciting to see a scientific study where they actually measured the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in pregnant women's red blood cells. And don't wait until week 12, but instead, start them on the omega-3 six months before becoming pregnant.

They did conclude within the webinar: A dried blood test to measure the Omega-3 status in the blood should be part of the prenatal care. They are trying to implement that into the South Australian healthcare system for pregnant women. They don't have a way to do so yet, but they are looking into possibilities. There is no doubt that Omega-3 is needed. It's just a matter of the amount, and in what weeks they recommend women to take it.

Are you pregnant and looking into a solution? You can order a dried blood test from Zinzino in my webshop - that you can perform in your house yourself - and send it to Vitas Laboratory. Vitas is the pioneer in dried blood tests and has the biggest database on Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio testing globally. The reason why I choose this test & Zinzino Balance oil with my clients are:

  • Measure the ratio between Omega-6 to Omega-3 in red-blood-cell membranes, which is important because it reflects how the rest of your cells are doing.

  • Measure the total amount of Omega-3

  • The test is done anonymously.

  • Affordable & convenient since you can perform it in your house.

  • Zinzino Balance-oil is a high-quality Scandinavian brand that is proven to work with every individual. You take a "Before & After" blood test to see if your body can utilize their Omega-3, which is active over 35hours compared to many other brands. I don't need to hope it's going to work. We simply take the test and see!

Learn more about cell membranes and Omega 3

Want to learn more about Omega-3 in pregnancy, women's health, and babies' health? Follow my Instagram @Omega3Heals Join my "Omega 3 - we share experiences" group on FB. Are you 40+ trying to conceive? My friend Oana is doing an amazing job. Join this FB group for awesome support: TTC over 40- GETTHEGOLDENEGG #driedbloodtest #omega3 #omega6 #omega3supplements #prenatal #preventpretermbirth #womenshealth #pregnancy #premeture #highriskpregnancy #thinkingofgettingpregnant #support

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