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Relations of trans fatty acids, cis n-6 and n-3 fatty acids in newborn cord plasma, maternal plasma and diet Elias, Sandra Leanne


Trans fatty acids (TFA) are found in partially hydrogenated oils used in margarines, and in processed foods. Concern has been raised that TFA may inhibit desaturation of 18:2n-6 and 18:3n-3 to 20:4n-6 and 22:6n-3, respectively, which are necessary for normal growth and development. The effect of diet-derived TFA on human growth, however, is unclear. This study estimated intakes and major sources of dietary TFA in 60 women at 28 and 35 weeks gestation using a food frequency questionnaire. Maternal blood was collected at 35 weeks gestation. Cord blood was collected at birth to assess the relation of maternal diet and plasma TFA on cord TFA, n-6 and n-3 fatty acids. The mean estimated TFA intake was 3.8 and 3.4 g/day at 28 and 35 weeks, respectively (1.3% of total energy). The major dietary source of TFA was baked foods. TFA were present in maternal and cord plasma triglycerides (TG), mean ± S.E., 4.0 ± 0.2 and 2.9 ± 0.2%, phospholipids (PL), 2.4 ± 0.1 and 0.7 ± 0.0%, and cholesteryl esters (CE), 1.6 ± 0.1 and 2.0 ± 0.1% of total fatty acids, respectively. Cord plasma TG TFA was inversely related to 22:6n-3 (r = -0.36) and cord plasma TG and CE TFA were inversely related to 20:4n-6 (r = -0.27). Cord plasma TG and CE TFA were inversely related to length of gestation (r - -0.28 and r = -0.25, respectively), whereas TG 20:4n-6 was positively related to length of gestation (r = 0.5) and infant birthweight (r = 0.4). Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) was inversely related to length of gestation in TG (r = -0.44) and in cord plasma CE to length of gestation (r = -0.52), birthweight (r = -0.35) and infant length (r = -0.35). In summary, this study found a mean TFA intake of

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