A scientist wants better warnings given about the use of fish oil supplements during pregnancy.
New research from the University of Auckland’s Liggins Institute has found fish oils with high oxidation levels should be avoided during pregnancy as it may be harmful.
While fish oil supplemnts are recommended during pregnancy for Omega-three, it can oxidise – or ‘go off’ – very easily.
Liggins researcher Dr Ben Albert said those who choose to take fish oil should buy smaller containers and keep them in a dark and cool place.
For the study pregnant rats were given fish oil in a range of doses and levels of oxidation. In the group that received highly oxidised oil six percent of the offspring died.
Albert said more regulation is needed and oils should be tested by an independent agency before being sold.
He said earlier research found more than half of fish oil products sold in New Zealand exceeded recommended oxidation levels.