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Clin Nutr. 2018 Aug;37(4):1367-1374. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2017.06.010. Epub 2017 Jun 10.

Maternal plasma n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids during pregnancy and features of fetal health: Fetal growth velocity, birth weight and duration of pregnancy.

Author information

1
The Generation R Study Group, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 50, 3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 50, 3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 50, 3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Psychiatry, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 50, 3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
2
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 50, 3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 50, 3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Psychiatry, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 50, 3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
3
The Generation R Study Group, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 50, 3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 50, 3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
4
Div. Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine, Dr. Von Hauner Children's Hospital, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.
5
The Generation R Study Group, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 50, 3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Paediatrics, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 50, 3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
6
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 50, 3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
7
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 50, 3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: r.steegers@erasmusmc.nl.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

Maternal fatty acids are essential for fetal growth and development. Here, we examine associations between maternal mid-pregnancy plasma n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and fetal health determined by fetal growth velocity, birth weight and duration of pregnancy.

METHODS:

Participants were 6974 pregnant women and their infants from a population-based birth cohort, the Generation R Study. Maternal plasma n-3:n-6 PUFA ratio and n-3 and n-6 PUFA percentage in glycerophospholipids in mid-pregnancy were related to fetal growth velocity calculated from repeatedly measured weight, length and head circumference, birth weight, and duration of pregnancy.

RESULTS:

A higher maternal mid-pregnancy n-3:n-6 PUFA ratio was associated with a higher growth velocity of the fetal weight (β = 0.082 SD-score/week, 95% CI 0.055; 0.108, P < 0.001), length (β = 0.085 SD-score/week, 95% CI 0.052; 0.119, P < 0.001); and head (β = 0.055 SD-score/week, 95% CI 0.019; 0.091, P = 0.003). We also observed positive associations between n-3:n-6 PUFA ratio and birth weight (β = 0.76 SD-score, 95% CI 0.22; 1.29, P = 0.006), and duration of pregnancy (β = 1.32 weeks, 95% CI 0.24; 2.40, P = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS:

These results are consistent with the hypothesis that a higher n-3:n-6 PUFA ratio is important for fetal health.

KEYWORDS:

Birth weight; Fatty acids; Fetal growth; Population-based cohort; Pregnancy

PMID:
28651830
DOI:
10.1016/j.clnu.2017.06.010

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