Maternal and neonatal plasma n-3 and n-6 fatty acids of pregnant women and neonates in three regions in China with contrasting dietary patterns.Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2009; 18(3):377-88.AP
The aim of this study was to investigate concentrations of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids in pregnant women and neonates from River/Lake, Coastal and Inland regions of China. Demographic, nutritional and anthropometric data, as well as blood samples (maternal and cord) were obtained. Plasma choline phosphglyceride (CPG) fatty acids were analysed. Median daily fatty acid intakes of the women from River/Lake, Coastal and Inland women were linoleic acid (LA), 20.2, 22.1, 31.7 g; arachidonic acid (AA), 157.2, 95.6, 141.3 mg; alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), 4.2, 1.0, 1.8 g; eicosapentenoic acid (EPA), 22.4, 28.6, 3.1 mg; docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), 51.7, 54.7, 33.3 mg and the n-3 to n-6 fatty acid ratio, 4.7, 20.9,17.2. The median maternal and cord plasma CPG AA levels of River/Lake, Coastal and Inland groups were 7.3 and 15.7, 6.7 and 16.1%, and 7.2 and 16.9%. The median maternal and neonatal DHA levels in the three regions were 3.2 and 4.7%, 3.0 and 4.3%, and 2.0 and 3.6%. There appears to be a close association between dietary intake of AA, EPA, DHA and the corresponding level in maternal plasma CPG (p<0.05). Based on these results, it can be concluded that the low intake of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids such as EPA and DHA and the unbalanced n-6 to n-3 fatty acids ratio are the main problems in terms of dietary fat intake among Chinese pregnant women. Measures could be taken such as increasing the supply of oily fish or ALA rich edible oils to increase n-3 fatty acids intake for pregnant Chinese women.