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Fish oil helps prevent premature birth: Australian study


10:56, April 18, 2013

SYDNEY, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Findings from an Australian study have confirmed a new health benefit of fish oil, local media reported on Wednesday.

The study by research dietitian Maria Makrides, Professor of Human Nutrition at The University of Adelaide indicates that omega- 3 fatty acid supplements make pregnancy last longer, preventing the baby to be born too prematurely.

The study involving 2,400 women at five Australian maternity hospitals has been used to support international research on premature birth, according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP) .

Susan Carlson, Professor of Dietetics and Nutrition at the University of Kansas, reviewed the outcomes of Makrides' study.

She said women who took the supplements tended to have slightly larger and heavier babies and gave birth some days later than the placebo group.

"So we have intriguing new evidence that long-chain omega-3 fatty acid supplementation does reduce the prevalence of very premature birth," she told the annual congress of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ) in Adelaide on Wednesday.

Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are found naturally in oily fish such as tuna and salmon.

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