Burdge, Graham C., Sherman, Rachel C., Ali, Zulaika, Wootton, Stephen A. and Jackson, Alan A.
Docosahexaenoic acid is selectively enriched in plasma phospholipids during pregnancy in Trinidadian women--results of a pilot study
Reproduction, Nutrition, Development, 46, (1), . (doi:10.1051/rnd:2005061).
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The fetal demand for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has to be satisfied by the mother. We determined the fatty acids in maternal plasma non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA), triacylglycerol (TAG) and phosphatidylcholine (PC), in a cross-sectional study of non-pregnant (n = 10), pregnant (n = 19), and postpartum (n = 9) women. There were lipid class-dependent differences in plasma polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) concentrations between groups. During pregnancy, DHA was most highly enriched in PC, about 230%, with more modest enrichment for linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA), and no enrichment of alpha-linolenic acid (alpha-LNA). There was relative enrichment of LA, AA and alpha-LNA in TAG, but not of DHA. There was no specific enrichment of any PUFA in the NEFA pool. These data accord with the suggestion that the enrichment of alpha-LNA in TAG and of DHA in phospholipids reflects hepatic regulation of n-3 PUFA metabolism which potentially enhances the delivery of DHA to the placenta.
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