Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Age-dependent effects of cord blood long-chain PUFA composition on BMI during the first 10 years of life

  • Marie Standl (a1), Elisabeth Thiering (a1) (a2), Hans Demmelmair (a2), Berthold Koletzko (a2) and Joachim Heinrich (a1)...

In the present study, we investigated whether n-6 and n-3 long-chain PUFA (LC-PUFA) concentrations in cord blood (CB) serum are associated with BMI up to 10 years of age, after accounting for LC-PUFA composition at 2, 6 and 10 years. The study was based on 388 participants of the German LISAplus (Influence of Lifestyle-Related Factors on the Immune System and the Development of Allergies in Childhood Plus the Influence of Traffic Emissions and Genetics) birth cohort study carried out in Munich. BMI was measured at 2, 6 and 10 years of age. Serum phospholipid fatty acid concentrations were measured by GC in CB and in blood collected at 2, 6 and 10 years of age. The association between n-3 LC-PUFA and n-6 LC-PUFA concentrations and n-6:n-3 LC-PUFA ratio in CB serum glycerophospholipids and BMI z-scores was assessed using linear mixed models adjusted for LC-PUFA composition at follow-up and potential confounders. Interaction terms between time of follow-up and LC-PUFA concentrations in CB were included. There was no consistent association between n-6 and n-3 LC-PUFA concentrations in CB and BMI over time. However, there was a significant interaction between n-6:n-3 LC-PUFA ratio in CB and time of follow-up with respect to BMI (P= 0·0415): a negative effect at 2 years; no effect at 6 years; a positive effect at 10 years. BMI up to 10 years of age may be influenced by the n-6:n-3 ratio in CB serum glycerophospholipids in a time-varying fashion. The present results thereby highlight the importance of considering age when examining associations between fatty acid concentrations and BMI.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Age-dependent effects of cord blood long-chain PUFA composition on BMI during the first 10 years of life
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Age-dependent effects of cord blood long-chain PUFA composition on BMI during the first 10 years of life
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Age-dependent effects of cord blood long-chain PUFA composition on BMI during the first 10 years of life
      Available formats
Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: M. Standl, fax +49 89 31873380, email
Hide All
1 Reilly JJ & Kelly J (2011) Long-term impact of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence on morbidity and premature mortality in adulthood: systematic review. Int J Obes (Lond) 35, 891898.
2 Franks PW, Hanson RL, Knowler WC, et al. (2010) Childhood obesity, other cardiovascular risk factors, and premature death. N Engl J Med 362, 485493.
3 Han JC, Lawlor DA & Kimm S (2010) Childhood obesity. Lancet 375, 17371748.
4 Muhlhausler BS & Ailhaud GP (2013) Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the early origins of obesity. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes 20, 5661.
5 Ailhaud G & Guesnet P (2004) Fatty acid composition of fats is an early determinant of childhood obesity: a short review and an opinion. Obes Rev 5, 2126.
6 Haggarty P (2002) Placental regulation of fatty acid delivery and its effect on fetal growth – a review. Placenta 23, S28S38.
7 Larqué E, Demmelmair H, Gil-Sánchez A, et al. (2011) Placental transfer of fatty acids and fetal implications. Am J Clin Nutr 94, Suppl. 6, 1908S1913S.
8 Berghaus TM, Demmelmair H & Koletzko B (2000) Essential fatty acids and their long-chain polyunsaturated metabolites in maternal and cord plasma triglycerides during late gestation. Biol Neonate 77, 96100.
9 Donahue SMA, Rifas-Shiman SL, Olsen SF, et al. (2009) Associations of maternal prenatal dietary intake of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids with maternal and umbilical cord blood levels. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 80, 289296.
10 Ailhaud G, Guesnet P & Cunnane SC (2008) An emerging risk factor for obesity: does disequilibrium of polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism contribute to excessive adipose tissue development? Br J Nutr 100, 461470.
11 Delgado-Noguera MF, Calvache JA & Bonfill Cosp (2010) Supplementation with long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) to breastfeeding mothers for improving child growth and development. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, CD007901.
12 Martínez-Victoria E & Yago MD (2012) Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and body weight. Br J Nutr 107, Suppl. 2, S107S116.
13 Hauner H, Much D, Vollhardt C, et al. (2012) Effect of reducing the n-6:n-3 long-chain PUFA ratio during pregnancy and lactation on infant adipose tissue growth within the first year of life: an open-label randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 95, 383394.
14 Hauner H, Vollhardt C, Schneider KTM, et al. (2009) The impact of nutritional fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation on early human adipose tissue development. Rationale and design of the INFAT study. Ann Nutr Metab 54, 97103.
15 Heinrich J, Bolte G, Hölscher B, et al. (2002) Allergens and endotoxin on mothers' mattresses and total immunoglobulin E in cord blood of neonates. Eur Respir J 20, 617623.
16 Butte NF, Garza C & de Onis M (2007) Evaluation of the feasibility of international growth standards for school-aged children and adolescents. J Nutr 137, 153157.
17 Glaser C, Demmelmair H & Koletzko B (2010) High-throughput analysis of fatty acid composition of plasma glycerophospholipids. J Lipid Res 51, 216221.
18 Kohlboeck G, Glaser C, Tiesler C, et al. (2011) Effect of fatty acid status in cord blood serum on children's behavioral difficulties at 10 y of age: results from the LISAplus Study. Am J Clin Nutr 94, 15921599.
19 Glaser C, Rzehak P, Demmelmair H, et al. (2011) Influence of FADS polymorphisms on tracking of serum glycerophospholipid fatty acid concentrations and percentage composition in children. PLoS One 6, e21933.
20 Cnaan A, Laird NM & Slasor P (1997) Using the general linear mixed model to analyse unbalanced repeated measures and longitudinal data. Stat Med 16, 23492380.
21 R Development Core Team (2012) R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. Vienna: R Foundation for Statistical Computing.
22 Bates D, Maechler M & Bolker B (2011) lme4: linear mixed-effects models using S4 classes. R package version 0.999375-42.
23 Fox J (2003) Effect displays in R for generalised linear models. J Stat Softw 8, 127.
24 Micallef M, Munro I, Phang M, et al. (2009) Plasma n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are negatively associated with obesity. Br J Nutr 102, 13701374.
25 Karlsson M, Mårild S, Brandberg J, et al. (2006) Serum phospholipid fatty acids, adipose tissue, and metabolic markers in obese adolescents. Obesity (Silver Spring) 14, 19311939.
26 Courville AB, Harel O & Lammi-Keefe CJ (2011) Consumption of a DHA-containing functional food during pregnancy is associated with lower infant ponderal index and cord plasma insulin concentration. Br J Nutr 106, 208212.
27 Asserhøj M, Nehammer S, Matthiessen J, et al. (2009) Maternal fish oil supplementation during lactation may adversely affect long-term blood pressure, energy intake, and physical activity of 7-year-old boys. J Nutr 139, 298304.
28 Rosenfeld E, Beyerlein A, Hadders-Algra M, et al. (2009) IPD meta-analysis shows no effect of LC-PUFA supplementation on infant growth at 18 months. Acta Paediatr 98, 9197.
29 Bergmann RL, Bergmann KE, Haschke-Becher E, et al. (2007) Does maternal docosahexaenoic acid supplementation during pregnancy and lactation lower BMI in late infancy? J Perinat Med 35, 295300.
30 Bergmann RL, Bergmann KE, Richter R, et al. (2012) Does docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) status in pregnancy have any impact on postnatal growth? Six-year follow-up of a prospective randomized double-blind monocenter study on low-dose DHA supplements. J Perinat Med 40, 677684.
31 Much D, Brunner S, Vollhardt C, et al. (2013) Effect of dietary intervention to reduce the n-6/n-3 fatty acid ratio on maternal and fetal fatty acid profile and its relation to offspring growth and body composition at 1 year of age. Eur J Clin Nutr 67, 282288.
32 Andersen AD, Michaelsen KF, Hellgren LI, et al. (2011) A randomized controlled intervention with fish oil versus sunflower oil from 9 to 18 months of age: exploring changes in growth and skinfold thicknesses. Pediatr Res 70, 368374.
33 Donahue SMA, Rifas-Shiman SL, Gold DR, et al. (2011) Prenatal fatty acid status and child adiposity at age 3 y: results from a US pregnancy cohort. Am J Clin Nutr 93, 780788.
34 Moon RJ, Harvey NC, Robinson SM, et al. (2013) Maternal plasma polyunsaturated fatty acid status in late pregnancy is associated with offspring body composition in childhood. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 98, 299307.
35 Williams SM & Goulding A (2009) Patterns of growth associated with the timing of adiposity rebound. Obesity (Silver Spring) 17, 335341.
36 Plachta-Danielzik S, Gehrke MI, Kehden B, et al. (2012) Body fat percentiles for German children and adolescents. Obes Facts 5, 7790.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Type Description Title
Supplementary Materials

Standl Supplementary Material

 Word (361 KB)
361 KB


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 7
Total number of PDF views: 82 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 204 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.