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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 123078, 8 pages
Clinical Study

The Effect of Omega-3 Docosahexaenoic Acid Supplementation on Gestational Length: Randomized Trial of Supplementation Compared to Nutrition Education for Increasing n-3 Intake from Foods

1Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
2Department of Neonatology, University of Colorado Hospital, Denver, CO 80045, USA
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, CO 80237, USA
4Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Colorado Hospital, Denver, CO 80045, USA
5LA Best Babies Network, Los Angeles, CA 90015, USA

Received 13 February 2015; Revised 14 April 2015; Accepted 21 April 2015

Academic Editor: Igor Hudic

Copyright © 2015 Mary A. Harris et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. DHA supplementation was compared to nutrition education to increase DHA consumption from fish and DHA fortified foods. Design. This two-part intervention included a randomized double-blind placebo controlled DHA supplementation arm and a nutrition education arm designed to increase intake of DHA from dietary sources by 300 mg per day. Setting. Denver Health Hospitals and Clinics, Denver, Colorado, USA. Population. 871 pregnant women aged 18–40 were recruited between16 and 20 weeks of gestation of whom 564 completed the study and complete delivery data was available in 505 women and infants. Methods. Subjects received either 300 or 600 mg DHA or olive oil placebo or nutrition education. Main Outcome Variable. Gestational length. Results. Gestational length was significantly increased by 4.0–4.5 days in women supplemented with 600 mg DHA per day or provided with nutrition education. Each 1% increase in RBC DHA at delivery was associated with a 1.6-day increase in gestational length. No significant effects on birth weight, birth length, or head circumference were demonstrated. The rate of early preterm birth (1.7%) in those supplemented with DHA (combined 300 and 600 mg/day) was significantly lower than in controls. Conclusion. Nutrition education or supplementation with DHA can be effective in increasing gestational length.