• Effect of intakes of N-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids during pregnancy and early childhood on development, morbidity and immunity of infants in first year of life: cross-sectional study. 
To content

Effect of intakes of N-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids during pregnancy and early childhood on development, morbidity and immunity of infants in first year of life: cross-sectional study. 

SOVREMENNAYA PEDIATRIYA.2014.2(58):47-52; doi 10.15574/SP.2014.58.47 

Effect of intakes of N-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids during pregnancy and early childhood on development, morbidity and immunity of infants in first year of life: cross-sectional study. 

Marushko R. V.

SI «Institute of pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology of National Academy of Medical Science of Ukraine», Kiev 

Background: At present, there are considered the efficient mechanisms existed by which diets high in n-3 LC PUFAs during pregnancy and early childhood may modulate the development of innative immune disorders and promote the adequate formation of immune system both on general and local levels. Early availability of n-3 LC PUFA could contribute to the normal growth and development, decrease risk factors of diseases or pathological disorders in infants. 

Goals: to assess the relationship between n-3 LCPUFAs intakes during pregnancy and postnatally and development, morbidity and immunity of infants in first year of life. 

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted using interview method of 300 women, whose children reached the age of one year. Elaborated questionnaires were filled in by pediatricians throughout their daily working hours while attending the patients. Was conducted assessment of frequency of common diseases and disorders like respiratory diseases, functional intestinal disorders and atopic diseases. Were investigated immunity of infants assessing the content of IgA, IgG and IgM by immunological methods and detected DHA, EPA (n-3 LC PUFAs) and AA (n-6 LC PUFAs) by gas chromatographic analysis in blood serum of children. The outcomes of the study were analysed and processed using statistical methods. 

Results: Retrospective clinical findings indicate on higher incidence of acute respiratory tract and atopic diseases as well as functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract in infants whose mothers did not use seafood in their diets during the pregnancy and in the lactating period. The research of immunity of children showed no difference in concentration of IgG and IgM in blood serum (p>0,05) but significant difference for IgA concentrations in plasma. In infants of n-3 LC PUFAs group IgA concentration was higher compared to opposite group. The fatty acid composition of the blood serum showed changes in the content of the main representatives of n-3 (DHA, EPA) and n-6 (AA) LC PUFAs. The concentrations of both DHA and EPA were higer while the content of AA was lower in the group of infants whose mothers intake seafood during pregnancy and postnataly. Significant differences were observed for DHA and AA (p<0,05). 

Conclusions: This cross-sectoinal study demonstrated favorable role of avalaibility of n-3 LC PUFAs, their long-term effects in preventing the immune-mediated diseases as well as the intestinal functional disorders and health status during early growth and development of infants. 

Key words: infants, polyunsaturated fatty acids, immunity, morbidity. 


1. Brenna JT. 2011. Animal studies of the functional consequences of suboptimal polyunsaturated fatty acid status during pregnancy, lactation and early postnatal life. Matern Child Nutr. 7;Suppl 2: 59—79. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1740-8709.2011.00301.x; PMid:21366867

2. Candela CG, Lopez LMB, Kohen VL. 2011. Importance of a balanced omega 6/omega 3 ratio for the maintenance of health. Nutritional recommendations. Nutr Hosp. 26;2: 323—329.

3. Hogenkamp A, van Vlies N, Fear AL et al. 2011. Dietary Fatty Acids Affect the Immune System in Male Mice Sensitized to Ovalbumin or Vaccinated with Influenza. J Nutr. 141: 698-702. http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/jn.110.135863; PMid:21346107

4. Heaton AE, Meldrum SJ, Foster JK et al. 2013. Does docosahexaenoic acid supplementation in term infants enhance neurocognitive functioning in infancy? Front Hum Neurosci. 7;774: 1-12. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00774

5. Zulyniak MA, Perreault M, Gerling C et al. 2013. Fish oil supplementation alters circulating eicosanoid concentrations in young healthy men. Metabolism. 62;8: 1107—1113. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.metabol.2013.02.004; PMid:23522836

6. Grissom N, Bowman N, Reyes NM. 2014. Epigenetic programming of reward function in offspring: a role for maternal diet. Mamm Genome. 25;1-2: 41—48.

7. Gruszfeld D, Socha P. 2013. Early nutrition and health: short- and long-term outcomes. World Rev Nutr Diet. 108: 32—39. http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000351482; PMid:24029784

8. Sijben JW, Goedhart AC, Kamphuis PJ et al. 2011. Is it prudent to add n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids to paediatric enteral tube feeding? Clin Nutr. 30;3: 273—281. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2010.11.007; PMid:21177002

9. Langley-Evans SC. 2014. Nutrition in early life and the programming of adult disease: a review. J Hum Nutr Diet. 27: 34—39.

10. Larque E, Demmelmair H, Gil-Sanchez A. 2011. Placental transfer of fatty acids and fetal implications. Am J Clin Nutr. 94;6; Suppl: 1908—1913. http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.110.001230; PMid:21562082

11. Mantis NJ, Rol N, Corthesy B. 2011. Secretory IgA's complex roles in immunity and mucosal homeostasis in the gut. Mucosal Immunology. 4: 603—611. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/mi.2011.41; PMid:21975936 PMCid:PMC3774538

12. Cordain L, Eaton SB, Sebastian A et al. 2005. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. Am J Clin Nutr. 81;2: 341—354. PMid:15699220

13. Nauta AJ, Ben AK, Knol J et al. 2013. Relevance of pre- and postnatal nutrition to development and interplay between the microbiota and metabolic and immune systems. Am J Clin Nutr. 98;2: 586S—593S. http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.112.039644; PMid:23824726

14. Ricciotti E, FitzGerald GA. 2011. Prostaglandins and inflammation. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 31;5: 986—1000. http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.110.207449; PMid:21508345 PMCid:PMC3081099

15. Shek LP, Chong MF, Lim JY et al. 2012. Role of Dietary Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Infant Allergies and Respiratory Diseases. Clinical and Developmental Immunology. 2012. Article ID 730568.—8 p.

16. Schuchardt JP, Huss M, Stauss-Grabo M et al. 2010. Significance of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for the development and behaviour of children. Eur J Pediatr. 169;2: 149— 164. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00431-009-1035-8; PMid:19672626

17. Schulzke SM, Patole SK, Simmer K. 2011. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in preterm infants. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 16;2: CD000375.

18. Koletzko B, Lien E, Agostoni C et al. 2008. The roles of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in pregnancy, lactation and infancy: review of current knowledge and consensus recommendations. J Perinat Med. 36;1: 5—14. World Association of Perinatal Medicine Dietary Guidelines Working Group. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/JPM.2008.001; PMid:18184094