Document Detail

Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, pregnancy, and pregnancy outcome.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10617984     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
During pregnancy, essential long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) play important roles as precursors of prostaglandins and as structural elements of cell membranes. Throughout gestation, accretion of maternal, placental, and fetal tissue occurs and consequently the LCPUFA requirements of pregnant women and their developing fetuses are high. This is particularly true for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3). The ratio of DHA to its status marker, docosapentaenoic acid (22:5n-6), in maternal plasma phospholipids decreases significantly during pregnancy. This suggests that pregnancy is associated with maternal difficulty in coping with the high demand for DHA. The DHA status of newborn multiplets is significantly lower than that of singletons; the same is true for infants of multigravidas as compared with those of primigravidas and for preterm compared with term neonates. Because the LCPUFA status at birth seems to have a long-term effect, the fetus should receive an adequate supply of LCPUFAs. Data from an international comparative study indicated that, especially for n-3 LCPUFAs, the fetus is dependent on maternal fatty acid intake; maternal supplementation with LCPUFAs, their precursors, or both increased LCPUFA concentrations in maternal and umbilical plasma phospholipids. However, significant competition between the 2 LCPUFA families was observed, which implies that effective supplementation requires a mixture of n-6 and n-3 fatty acids. Further research is needed to determine whether higher LCPUFA concentrations in plasma phospholipid will have functional benefits for mothers and children.
M D Al; A C van Houwelingen; G Hornstra
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American journal of clinical nutrition     Volume:  71     ISSN:  0002-9165     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Clin. Nutr.     Publication Date:  2000 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-02-04     Completed Date:  2000-02-04     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376027     Medline TA:  Am J Clin Nutr     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  285S-91S     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University, Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Arachidonic Acid / blood,  physiology
Docosahexaenoic Acids / blood
Fatty Acids, Essential / blood,  physiology*
Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / blood,  physiology*
Fetal Blood / chemistry
Fish Oils
Hypertension / physiopathology
Infant, Newborn
Phospholipids / blood
Pregnancy / physiology*
Pregnancy Outcome
Pregnancy, Multiple
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Fatty Acids, Essential; 0/Fatty Acids, Unsaturated; 0/Fish Oils; 0/Phospholipids; 25167-62-8/Docosahexaenoic Acids; 506-32-1/Arachidonic Acid

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