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The effect of supplementation with docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acid derived from single cell oils on plasma and erythrocyte fatty acids of pregnant women in the second trimester.

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  • 1Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


This study was performed to investigate whether supplementation of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) to pregnant women would enhance their DHA levels, both in plasma and in erythrocyte phospholipids, without reducing the content of n-6 long-chain ployenes (LCP) usually seen when DHA is supplemented alone. Healthy pregnant women, in the second trimester, were randomly assigned to either the control group (n=12) or the intervention group (n=12). The control group received no supplements and the intervention group received daily during 4 weeks encapsulated algae-derived DHA oil (0.57 g DHA/day) and fungal-derived AA oil (0.26 g AA/day). The fatty acid compositions of plasma and erythrocyte phospholipids were determined in weekly-collected blood samples. DHA and n-6 LCP levels of the control group were unchanged after 4 weeks. Compared to the control group, DHA levels in plasma an erythrocytes of the intervention group increased significantly. No significant reductions were found in the levels of AA and total n-6 LCP. The supplement proved to be effective in increasing the DHA levels in both plasma and erythrocyte without a concomitant decline of the n-6 LCP.

Copyright 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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