fatty acids for retinopathy

When they are born, very premature babies (delivery before 28 weeks of amenorrhea, AS *) can present several physiological or neurological weaknesses. Among the organs concerned, the eyes.

The blood vessels in the retina could not finish their development due to the shortening of life in utero. Consequence, a risk of severe retinopathy. In some cases, this disorder can cause retinal detachment or even blindness in the toddler.

How to prevent the appearance of this retinopathy? To find out, Swedish researchers from the University of Gothenburg followed 206 very premature babies from birth to 3 years (from 2016 to 2019).

A risk divided by two

Half of them received a prophylactic treatment based on nutritional supplements rich in omega 3. The dose of 3 milligrams per day per kilo was administered orally. Omega 6s were also given to these little ones, in quantities twice as large. The second half of the offspring received no supplementation.

As a result, “in the supplementation group, 15.8% of newborns developed severe retinopathy in their first three years of life, compared to 33.3% in the control group”. A risk reduced by two under the effect of fatty acids therefore.

But how to explain it? During fetal life, omega 6s play a fundamental role in the formation of cell membranes. And omega 3 is among the essential components of blood vessels and nerve tissue.

* 41 weeks of amenorrhea for a 9 month pregnancy. Very prematurity is included in 28 weeks and 32 weeks, prematurity in 32 weeks and 37 weeks)

Source: A la Une – Le Progrès | Le Progrès by www.leprogres.fr.

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