Supplementation of fish-oil and soy-oil during pregnancy and psychomotor development of infants
Supplementation of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in infancy improves neuro-developmental outcomes, but there is limited information about the impact of supplementing pregnant mothers with DHA on the development of their infants. In a follow-up of a randomized, double-blind controlled trial with 400 pregnant mothers, the effects of supplementation of fish-oil or soy-oil (4 g/day) during the last trimester of pregnancy on psychomotor development and behaviour of infants at 10 months of age (n=249) were assessed. The quality of psychosocial stimulation at home (HOME) and nutritional status of the subjects were also measured. There were no significant differences in the fish-oil group and soy-oil group in any of the developmental (mean±SD mental development index: 102.5±8.0 vs 101.5±7.8, psychomotor development index: 101.7±10.0 vs 100.5±10.1) or behavioural outcomes. It may, therefore, be concluded that supplementation of fish-oil during the last trimester of pregnancy does not have any added benefit over supplementation of soy-oil on the development or behaviour of infants in this population.