Maternal Omega-3 Supplementation During Pregnancy, but Not Childhood Supplementation, Reduces the Risk of Food Allergy Diseases in Offspring

Linh Ba Phuong Huynh, Nam Nhat Nguyen, Hsien Yu Fan, Shih Yi Huang, Chung Hsiung Huang, Yang Ching Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Omega-3 supplementation has been reported to modulate immune responses and prevent food allergies among children; however, findings are inconsistent, and the timing of supplementation, which is critical, has not been thoroughly investigated. Objective: To assess optimal timing (maternal vs childhood intake) of omega-3 supplementation for reducing food allergy risk among children in 2 periods (the first 3 years and beyond 3 years of age). Methods: We performed a meta-analysis to assess the effects of maternal or childhood omega-3 supplementation on preventing the development of infant food allergies and food sensitizations. The PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, and Web of Science databases were searched for related studies published until October 30, 2022. We conducted dose-response and subgroup analyses to investigate the effects of omega-3 supplementation. Results: We found that maternal omega-3 supplementation during pregnancy and lactation was significantly associated with decreased risks of infant egg sensitization (relative risk [RR]: 0.58, 95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 0.47-0.73, P <.01) and peanut sensitization (RR: 0.62, 95% CI: 0.47-0.80, P <.01) among children. Similar results were found in subgroup analyses for food allergy, egg sensitization, and peanut sensitization during the first 3 years of age and peanut sensitization and cashew nut sensitization beyond 3 years of age. Dose-response analysis showed a linear relationship between maternal omega-3 supplementation and infant egg sensitization risk during early life. By contrast, intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid during childhood did not appear to significantly protect against food allergies. Conclusions: Maternal omega-3 supplementation during pregnancy and lactation, rather than childhood intake, reduces the risk of infant food allergy and food sensitization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2862-2871.e8
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • Children
  • Food allergy
  • Maternal
  • Meta-analysis
  • Omega-3 supplementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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