New studies show that, when pregnant mothers take omega-3 fish oil, there is a measurable increase in the mental abilities of their babies. Researchers first warned of the problems associated with insufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acids:
Poor outcomes associated with insufficient intakes of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy include intrauterine growth retardation, delayed or suboptimum depth perception, adverse neurodevelopmental measures, residual deficits in fine motor skills, speed of information processing in infants, and irreversible deficits in serotonin and dopamine release, according to Dr. Hibbeln and colleagues
In a study of nearly 12,000 pregnant women in England, researchers found an association between those that consumed the least amount of omega-3s during pregnancy and an increased risk of being in the lowest ranks for Verbal IQ, when the child was 8 years old! At 7 years old, there was an increased risk of social impairment. At ages up to 3.5 years, scores were also lower for fine-motor skills, communication, and social development.
The higher the omega-3 intake of the pregnant mother, the less likely a child will score poorly in any of these areas, according to the researchers. So pregnant mothers should definitely take fish oil supplements!