Maternal long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid status during pregnancy and lactation in the APrON cohort.

  • Author / Creator
    Asaad, Yara Ahmed
  • INTRODUCTION: Docosahexaenoic (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) are long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) that are essential for fetal and infant development. The overall aim of the study was to characterize DHA, EPA and AA status during pregnancy and lactation in the first cohort of the APrON study and determine the relationship to breast milk composition. This study also determined the effect of taking a daily supplement containing DHA/EPA on maternal status. METHODS: Blood samples were collected at 3rd trimester (n=500) and 3 months postpartum (n=476). The relative percent and concentration of fatty acids in plasma phospholipids (a biomarker of fatty acid status) and the relative fatty acid composition of breast milk (n=398) were identified by gas liquid chromatography. RESULTS: The %DHA in phospholipids was significantly higher at pregnancy than lactation. However, the percentage of EPA and AA did not differ between pregnancy and lactation. The % DHA, EPA and AA in plasma was positively correlated with %DHA, EPA and AA in breast milk. Taking a daily DHA/EPA supplement (479 ± 415 mg) resulted in a significantly higher (P<0.05) %DHA in plasma PL and breast milk. CONCLUSIONS: The maternal status of essential n-3 fatty acids was found to positively correlate with the composition of these fatty acids in breast milk. DHA status was lower during lactation then pregnancy supporting the increased demand for incorporation into breast milk. Mothers who reported taking DHA/EPA supplements each day had higher DHA composition in plasma phospholipids and higher DHA content in breast milk.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science
  • Specialization
    • Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Field, Catherine
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Manca, Donna
    • Mager, Diana