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Nutr Res. 2013 Aug;33(8):613-21. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2013.05.009. Epub 2013 Jun 27.

Different intakes of n-3 fatty acids among pregnant women in 3 regions of China with contrasting dietary patterns are reflected in maternal but not in umbilical erythrocyte phosphatidylcholine fatty acid composition.

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  • 1Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China.


There is limited information regarding the intake and status of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in Chinese pregnant women with different dietary patterns. We hypothesize that there will be significant differences in long chain n-3 and n-6 PUFA status in pregnant women from 3 regions of China (river/lake, coastal and inland). Dietary fatty acid intakes and fatty acid profiles in maternal and umbilical erythrocyte phosphatidylcholine (PC) were analyzed. The median daily intakes (mg) of eicosapentanoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the coastal group (64.6 and 93.9, n = 42) were significantly higher than those in the river/lake group (27.9 and 41.8, n = 41) and the inland group (12.1 and 41.1, n = 40). Daily intake of arachidonic acid (AA) was highest (170.2 mg) in the inland group. The median DHA level (%) of maternal erythrocyte PC was comparable between river/lake and inland groups (5.7 vs. 5.6) while both were significantly lower than in coastal group (8.4). The median AA level (%) of maternal erythrocyte PC tended to be lower in the coastal group than in the inland group but the difference was not significant. The AA and DHA levels in umbilical erythrocyte PC were comparable among the 3 groups. In conclusion, differences in long chain n-3 PUFA intake between geographic regions, in particular in DHA, were reflected in differences in maternal erythrocyte PC DHA status but did not result in differences in umbilical erythrocyte PC.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


AA; ALA; Aquatic foods; China; DHA; DPA; Dietary intake; Docosahexenoic acid; EPA; Eicosapentenoic acid; Erythrocyte; FFQ; Human; LA; LC n-3 PUFA; Long chain n-3 fatty acids; MUFA; PC; Pregnancy; SFA; arachidonic acid; docosahexanoic acid; docosapentanoic acid; eicosapentanoic acid; food frequency questionnaire; linoleic acid; long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; monounsaturated fatty acids; phosphatidylcholine; saturated fatty acids; α-linolenic acid

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