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Journal of Perinatal Medicine

Official Journal of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Dudenhausen, Joachim W.

Editorial Board Member: / Bancalari, Eduardo / Greenough, Anne / Genc, Mehmet R. / Chervenak, Frank A. / Chappelle, Joseph / Bergmann, Renate L. / Bernardes, J.F. / Bevilacqua, G. / Blickstein, Isaac / Cabero Roura, Luis / Carbonell-Estrany, Xavier / Carrera, Jose M. / D`Addario, Vincenzo / D'Alton, MD, Mary E. / Dimitrou, G. / Grunebaum, Amos / Hentschel, Roland / Köpcke, W. / Kawabata, Ichiro / Keirse, M.J.M.C. / Kurjak M.D., Asim / Lee, Ben H. / Levene, Malcolm / Lockwood, Charles J. / Marsal, Karel / Makatsariya, Alexander / Nishida, Hiroshi / Ogata, Edward / Papp, Zoltán / Pejaver, Ranjan Kumar / Pooh, Ritsuko K. / Romero, Roberto / Saugstad, Ola D. / Schenker, Joseph G. / Sen, Cihat / Seri, Istvan / Vetter, Klaus / Winn, Hung N. / Young, Bruce K. / Zimmermann, Roland

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Consumption of ω3-fatty acids during perinatal life: role in immuno-modulation and allergy prevention

Nicole Blümer1 / Harald Renz2



Corresponding author: Prof. Harald Renz, MD Department of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics 35033 Marburg Germany Tel.: +49 64212866234 Fax: +49 64212865594

Citation Information: Journal of Perinatal Medicine. Volume 35, Issue S1, Pages S12–S18, ISSN (Online) 1619-3997, ISSN (Print) 0300-5577, DOI: 10.1515/JPM.2007.031, February 2007

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Epidemiological data suggest that dietary factors may have a role in recent increases of the prevalence of allergic diseases. One food-related component might be the reduced consumption of ω3-polyunsaturated fatty acids observed especially in the Western societies; yet, clinical trials supplementing ω3-fatty acids to adults with established allergies and bronchial asthma have generally been disappointing. However, it is known that the immature immune system is highly susceptible to immuno-modulatory environmental conditions particularly in the pre- and postnatal period. This review discusses the immuno-modulatory effects of ω3-fatty acids supplementation in the perinatal life phase on the immune system of the child. Evidence exists that perinatal ω3-fatty acid exposure affects T-cells and antigen presenting cells of the neonates likely due to altered eicosanoid metabolism. Although animal experiments strongly suggest a role of maternal ω3-fatty acid intake on allergic immune responses in the offspring, the beneficial effect of ω3-fatty acid supplementation has been studied in a small number of clinical trials. In these studies perinatal supplementation had some positive effects on distinct clinical phenotypes of the atopic syndrome. However, more studies are needed to fully explore the opportunity of perinatal immuno-modulation.

Keywords: Allergy; immuno-modulation; perinatal life phase; ω3-fatty acids.

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