Taking Fish Oil, Vitamin D Supplements During Pregnancy Reduces Croup Risk In Babies, Says Study

According to a recent study, consuming fish oil and vitamin D in pregnancy can help in lowering the risk of croup in babies. 

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaPublished at: Sep 06, 2022Updated at: Sep 06, 2022
Taking Fish Oil, Vitamin D Supplements During Pregnancy Reduces Croup Risk In Babies, Says Study

According to a new study, presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Barcelona, Spain, it has been found that consuming fish oil and vitamin D supplements during pregnancy can reduce the risk of croup in babies and young children. Croup is a viral upper airway infection that usually affects young children. The most common symptom of the infection is a ‘barking’ cough, which causes a hoarse voice and difficulty in breathing. Croup is a common problem, mostly mild, but some children require hospital treatment and support for breathing.

The study was conducted on 736 pregnant women, who were under the care of COPSAC since 2010. The women were categorised into four groups. Out of these groups, one group was given a high-dose of vitamin D supplement (2800 international units in a day) and fish oil containing long-chain n-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids (2.4 grams), the second group was given high-dose vitamin D and olive oil, the third group was given a normal dose of vitamin D (400 international units per day) and fish oil, and the last group was given a standard-dose of vitamin D supplements and olive oil. The women took these supplements everyday from their 24th week of pregnancy up to one week after delivery. 

fish oil

The experts examined the children until they were three years old and children who were experiencing symptoms of croup were diagnosed by a doctor or through their other medical records. There were 97 cases of croup in the total number of children. Moreover, babies whose mothers took the fish oil were at an 11 percent risk of croup, as compared to 17 percent in the kids whose mothers took olive oil. The mothers who took a high-dose of vitamin D had an 11 percent risk of croup, as compared to 18 percent risk in those who took the standard-dose vitamin D.

Also read: Fish Oil Supplement Guide; Benefits and Types, Expert Verified

Dr Brustad said, "Our findings suggest that vitamin D and fish oil could be beneficial against childhood croup in sufficiently high doses. These are relatively cheap supplements meaning that this could be a very cost-effective approach to improving young children’s health." He further added, "We are not sure of the exact mechanisms behind the beneficial effects of vitamin D and fish oil, but it could be that they can stimulate the immune system to help babies and young children clear infections more effectively."

Disclaimer