Early Pregnancy Maternal Plasma Phospholipid Saturated Fatty Acids and Fetal Growth: Findings from a Multi-Racial/Ethnic Birth Cohort in US

Ling Jun Li, Ruochen Du, Marion Ouidir, Ruijin Lu, Zhen Chen, Natalie L. Weir, Michael Y. Tsai, Paul S. Albert, Cuilin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Saturated fatty acids (SFAs) during pregnancy are associated with disrupted metabolic programming among offspring at birth and later growth. We examined plasma phospholipid SFAs in early pregnancy and fetal growth throughout pregnancy. We enrolled 321 pregnant women from the NICHD Fetal Growth Studies—Singleton Cohort at gestational weeks 8–13. Ultrasonogram schedules were randomly assigned to capture weekly fetal growth. We measured plasma phospholipid SFAs at early pregnancy using blood samples and modeled fetal growth trajectories across tertiles of SFAs with cubic splines using linear mixed models after full adjustment. We then compared pairwise weekly fetal growth biometrics referencing the lowest tertile in each SFA using the Wald test. We found that even-chain and very long even-chain SFAs were inversely associated, whereas odd-chain SFAs were positively associated with fetal weight and size. Compared with the lowest tertile, the highest tertile of pentadecanoic acid (15:0) had a greater fetal weight and size, starting from week 13 until late pregnancy (at week 39: 3429.89 vs. 3269.08 g for estimated fetal weight; 328.14 vs. 323.00 mm for head circumference). Our findings could inspire future interventions using an alternative high-fat diet rich in odd-chain SFAs for optimal fetal growth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3287
JournalNutrients
Volume15
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • even-chain fatty acids
  • fetal growth
  • odd-chain fatty acids
  • plasma phospholipids
  • pregnancy
  • saturated fatty acids
  • very-long-chain fatty acids

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