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Effect of three low-dose fish oil supplements, administered during pregnancy, on neonatal long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid status at birth.

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Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Groningen University Hospital, Hanzeplein 1, 9713 GZ Groningen, The Netherlands.


Adequate long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCP) status during pregnancy is important. We studied the effect of three low-dose fish oil supplements, administered during uncomplicated pregnancy, on neonatal LCP status at term delivery. Supplements were administered from the second trimester to delivery, either as fish oil capsules ("fish-1": 336 mg LCPomega3, n=15; and "fish-3": 1,008 mg LCPomega3, n=20) or milk-based supplement ("Mum": 528 mg LCPomega3, n=24). Fifty-seven untreated women served as controls. Fatty acids of umbilical veins (UV) and arteries (UA) were measured. The fish-1 group showed no differences, compared to controls. The Mum group had higher 20:5omega3, 22:5omega3, 22:6omega3, LCPomega3 and 22:6omega3/22:5omega6 in UV and UA. The fish-3 group had higher 22:5omega3 and 22:6omega3 (UA), LCPomega3 and 22:6omega3/22:5omega6 (UV and UA) and 20:3omega6 (UV). A 500-1000 mg daily LCPomega3 supplement, taken either as a milk-based supplement or fish oil capsules, effectively increases fetal LCPomega3 status, without affecting LCPomega6 status.

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