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Pediatr Obes. 2018 May;13(5):285-291. doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12215. Epub 2017 Mar 23.

Breastmilk with a high omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio induced cellular events similar to insulin resistance and obesity in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, Memorial University, St. John's, NL, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

An imbalance of omega (n)-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) during critical periods of development may have adverse effects on the health of the newborn in later life.

OBJECTIVES:

We hypothesized that breastmilk with higher n-6 to n-3 PUFA ratio will have higher inflammatory cytokines and initiate cellular events similar to insulin resistance and obesity.

METHODS:

Breastmilk was collected from healthy women who gave natural birth at full term. Breastmilk fatty acids were measured using gas chromatography; samples were pooled based on the n-6 to n-3 PUFA ratio (high, medium and low), and soluble cytokines were measured. Pooled samples were used to treat 3T3-L1 cells; mRNA expression of diacylglycerol acyltransferase2, stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1, leptin and RPLPO was measured.

RESULTS:

Breastmilk with a higher ratio of n-6 to n-3 PUFA showed higher pro-inflammatory cytokines; there was a direct correlation between n-6 PUFA and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Breastmilk with a higher ratio of n-6 to n-3 PUFA increased the expression of genes involved in lipogenesis.

CONCLUSIONS:

Pro-inflammatory cytokines in breastmilk are associated with higher levels of n-6 PUFA in breastmilk and has the capacity to alter adipose tissue metabolism to likely predispose the newborn to a higher risk of obesity in later life.

KEYWORDS:

Adipocytes; breastmilk; obesity; pro-inflammation

PMID:
28335075
DOI:
10.1111/ijpo.12215

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