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Fish Oil supplement in Pregnancy Improves Child’s Muscle and Bone Development, Study Finds

A Danish study has found that pregnant women who take fish oil supplements have children who have more muscle and stronger bones all the way to age 6, the Independent reports. Researchers used X-rays to measure bone density versus unhealthy fat. They noted that while the children had higher BMIs, their actual body composition consisted of proportional lean, bone and fat mass with more lean muscle and bone density than children whose mothers took a placebo.

It seems like news supporting supplementation with omega-3 fish oil is coming out regularly now. Just last year, for example, researchers announced that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids during the last trimester of pregnancy may reduce the incidence of asthma and wheezing in the children. Just a handful of other health benefits of omega-3s include:

  • Reducing the inflammatory response to rheumatoid arthritis, stiffness and pain
  • Improving your utilization of calcium in your body
  • Helping to build muscle mass, especially for those who have cancer
  • Lowering your risk of neurological dysfunction
  • Helping with cognitive function

Some of the best natural sources of omega-3s come from fish such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines and anchovies. Unfortunately, much of the fish sold is severely contaminated with environmental pollutants, increasing your risk of toxic exposure to chemicals such as mercury. These chemicals are retained in the body of the animal so, generally, the closer to the bottom of the food chain your source of omega-3 fats is, the less contamination will have accumulated.

In the absence of a good quality fish supply, many will opt for supplements. Before you run off and just grab any old bottle of fish oil from the shelf, though, it’s important to know that not all omega-3 supplements are created equally. I personally recommend krill oil for this purpose, as this supplement has a number of different benefits beyond fish oil.

High-quality krill are harvested from the clean waters of the Antarctic and are a sustainable and earth-friendly source of supplementation, unlike fish oil, which has brought some species of fish to extinction. Krill oil also naturally contains astaxanthin, a powerful phospholipid that keeps the oil safe from oxidation and improves your ability to absorb the supplement.

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