Maternal Pre-Pregnancy Obesity Attenuates Response to Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplementation During Pregnancy
Maternal obesity is associated with adverse offspring outcomes. Inflammation and deficiency of anti-inflammatory nutrients like omega(n)-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) may contribute to these associations. Fetal supply of n-3 PUFA is dependent on maternal levels and studies have suggested that improved offspring outcomes are associated with higher maternal intake. However, little is known about how maternal obesity affects the response to n-3 supplementation during pregnancy. We sought to
... nancy. We sought to determine (1) the associations of obesity with PUFA concentrations and (2) if the systemic response to n-3 supplementation differs by body mass index (BMI). This was a secondary analysis of 556 participants (46% lean, 28% obese) in the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network trial of n-3 (Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) + Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)) supplementation, in which participants had 2g/day of n-3 (n = 278) or placebo (n = 278) from 19 to 22 weeks until delivery. At baseline, obese women had higher plasma n-6 arachidonic acid concentrations (β: 0.96% total fatty acids; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.13, 1.79) and n-6/n-3 ratio (β: 0.26 unit; 95% CI: 0.05, 0.48) compared to lean women. In the adjusted analysis, women in all BMI groups had higher n-3 concentrations following supplementation, although obese women had attenuated changes (β = −2.04%, CI: −3.19, −0.90, interaction p = 0.000) compared to lean women, resulting in a 50% difference in the effect size. Similarly, obese women also had an attenuated reduction (β = 0.94 units, CI: 0.40, 1.47, interaction p = 0.046) in the n-6/n-3 ratio (marker of inflammatory status), which was 65% lower compared to lean women. Obesity is associated with higher inflammation and with an attenuated response to n-3 supplementation in pregnancy.