My baby is so cute, but was born so small…


Do you knew that impaired fetal growth is associated with arterial wall thickening, a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases in adulthood? Each -1 kg lower birth weight translates to a 10% to 20% increase in risk of coronary artery disease many decades later. It is only a risk factor, but one we can act on.

As a result of a big study, the Childhood Asthma Prevention Study (that involved children born at term in Sydney, over their first 8 years of life), in which 363 children received a 500-mg-daily fish oil supplement rich in DHA and EPA and canolabased margarines and cooking oil (to reproduce an omega-6:omega-3 ratio of 5:1) or a 500-mg-daily sunflower oil supplement and omega-6 fatty acid-rich margarines and cooking oil (ratio similar to that of the general population, 15:1-20:1), both of identical appearance, it was demonstrated that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation over the first 5 years of life prevented the association of impaired fetal growth with arterial wall thickening. This suggests that postnatal, early-life, intervention may mitigate the risk of cardiovascular disease in these children. The early omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is not the only factor to improve vascular health, but can mitigate the inverse association of fetal growth with arterial wall thickening.


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