Sioux Falls, SD—OmegaQuant applauded a statement issued by the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) about the relationship betweenomega-3EPA and DHA blood levels and preterm birth.

After years of investigation, ISSFAL points to "strong evidence" on omega-3s

"There is strong evidence that a proportion of preterm births can be prevented by increasing maternal dietary omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) intake during pregnancy," ISSFAL stated. "This Statement provides a synthesis of contemporary evidence on the role of omega-3 LCPUFA on prevention of preterm birth and is designed to provide fatty acid-specific knowledge and guidance for medical practitioners, midwives, health services, professional bodies and policy makers to consider for their contextual situations."

ISSFAL explained, "The evidence confirmed that omega-3, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), have an important role to play in determining gestational length in singleton pregnancies."

ISSFAL also said adequate intake of omega-3 in early pregnancy, consistent with existing nutritional guidelines, is associated with a lower risk of preterm and early preterm births for women with singleton pregnancies. Women who are low in omega-3 fatty acids will benefit most from omega-3 supplementation to reduce their risk of early birth, ISSFAL added. In such cases, supplementation with approximately 1,000 mg of DHA plus EPA per day is effective at reducing risk of early birth, ISSFAL added, preferably with supplementation commencing before 20 weeks’ gestation.

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OmegaQuant reported that, in 2019, Kristina Harris Jackson, RD, Ph.D., Director of Research at OmegaQuant, published apaper outlining the rationale for women to maintain a certain DHA status to help prevent pre-term birth.

"While the spirit of Jackson’s work and the ISSFAL statement are in line, the details around what constitutes a 'low' omega-3 status is still an unanswered question," OmegaQuant noted in the release. ISSFAL maintains that it "would be worthwhile for future investigations to confirm the validity of different measures of omega-3 status for decision-making around omega-3 supplementation to reduce risk of early birth."

OmegaQuant called the consensus statement "a great step forward towards uniting the fatty acid research community around omega-3s and pregnancy." Dr. Jackson said, "We are excited about where the field is going and hope that we at OmegaQuant can play an important role in translating all the great research that has been done into clinically accessible and useable omega-3 status testing."