Pregnant women who supplemented their diet with omega 3 had a significantly lower risk of giving birth to a baby with infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (IHPS), according to results from a case-control study published in Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

Infants with IHPS (n=66, 84.8% male) were recruited after undergoing an operation between 2010 and 2016 at 2 hospitals in Israel. As a control group, healthy infants (n=67, 47.8% male) aged 2-11 months were recruited from the same hospitals in 2018. All participant’s mothers filled out a questionnaire about maternal nutritional supplement consumption and known IHPS risk factors (family history, smoking habit, alcohol consumption, exercise regimen, postpartum depression, and infant feeding method).

The investigators observed that mothers who consumed an omega 3 supplement, at least 2 times per week during pregnancy, had lower (P =.003) instances of IHPS among their children. The researchers reported a significant difference in family history (P <.0001) and maternal smoking (P =.004) among the IHPS cohort compared with controls.

After correction for all significant risk factors, consumption of omega 3 remained significantly protective against IHPS with an odds ratio (OR) of 0.303 (95% CI, 0.111-0.828; P =.02), whereas maternal smoking was associated with an increased risk for IHPS with an OR of 9.131 (95% CI, 1.964-42.451; P =.005). The investigators confirmed the increased instance of IHPS in male participants with an OR of 7.827 (95% CI, 3.057-20.038; P =.0001).

No significant correlations between the previously reported risk factors, delivery by cesarean, birth order, or formula feeding, were reported.

The limitations of this study include the low sample sizes, which may account for discrepancies with the current literature on IHPS risk factors, and the fact that the recruitment periods for the 2 cohorts differed.

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These observations indicate that supplementing the diet of pregnant women with omega 3 and encouraging expectant mothers to refrain from smoking should be recommended as preventive measures against IHPS.

Reference

Paran M, Freud E, Samuk I, Steiner Z. Does maternal omega 3 supplementation protect against infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis? [published online January 27, 2020] J Gastroenterol Nutr. doi:10.1097/MPG.0000000000002648

This article originally appeared on Gastroenterology Advisor