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Open Access Research

Composition of fatty acids in the maternal and umbilical cord plasma of adolescent and adult mothers: relationship with anthropometric parameters of newborn

Olívia RC Oliveira1, Michelle G Santana1, Flávia S Santos1, Felipe D Conceição1, Fátima LC Sardinha1, Glória V Veiga2 and Maria G Tavares do Carmo13*

Author Affiliations

1 Nutritional Biochemical Laboratory, Josué de Castro Institute of Nutrition, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2 Department of Social and Applied Nutrition, Josué de Castro Institute of Nutrition, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

3 Instituto de Nutrição Josué de Castro, UFRJ – Laboratório de Bioquímica Nutricional, Av. Brigadeiro Trompowski, s/n - CCS, Bloco J, 2° andar, Cidade Universitária, Ilha do Fundão, Cep.: 21941-590, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2012, 11:157  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-11-157

Published: 15 November 2012

Abstract

Background

Considering the importance of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids to fetal development and the lack of studies that have compared the status of fatty acids between adolescents and adults mothers, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the composition of fatty acids in maternal and umbilical cord plasma from adolescent and adults mothers.

Methods

Forty pregnant adolescents and forty pregnant adults were selected to assess the distribution profile of fatty acids in the maternal and umbilical cord plasma. Quantification of fatty acids in the total lipids of the sample groups was performed through the use of gas-liquid chromatography.

Results

The maternal and umbilical cord plasma of the adolescents showed a greater concentration of AA than did that of the adults (P < 0.05). However, a greater percentage of EPA was found in the umbilical cord plasma of the adults (P < 0.05). DHA in the plasma of the adolescent mothers correlated positively to birth weight and head circumference.

Conclusions

This suggests that in situations of greater nutritional risk, as in adolescent pregnancy, n-3PUFA concentrations have a greater influence on the proper development of newborns. Moreover, variations in fatty acid concentrations in the maternal and cord plasma of adolescents and adults may indicate that pregnancy affects the LC-PUFA status of adults and adolescents in distinct ways.

Keywords:
Fatty acids; Pregnancy; Adolescence; Adulthood; Newborn