The role of fats in the lifecycle stages

Maria Makrides and Robert A Gibson
Med J Aust 2002; 176 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04568.x
Published online: 3 June 2002

The high birthweights and long duration of pregnancies observed in the fish-eating community of the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic led to the suggestion that fatty acids from marine food could delay spontaneous delivery and increase birthweight.1 Likewise, the low incidence of pre-eclampsia observed in Greenland Inuit2 provided a basis for the first suggestion that fish oil could prevent this condition. The plausibility of these hypotheses was strengthened by the fact that fish oil (omega-3) fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may alter eicosanoid/cytokine balance to modulate vasoconstriction and endothelial damage associated with gestational hypertension, delay the initiation of labour and cervical ripening, and relax the myometrium.

  • Maria Makrides1
  • Robert A Gibson2

  • Child Nutrition Research Centre, Child Health Research Institute, Women's and Children's Hospital, and Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, SA, Australia.



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