Aim: To assess the modifications of the main fatty acids (FA) in plasma and red blood cells during pregnancy.
Methods: A longitudinal study of 36 normal pregnant women was carried out with 3 cut-off points: first trimester, second trimester and third trimester. 14 FA in plasma and erythrocyte phospholipids were measured using capillary gas chromatography. Measurements were expressed in percentages and in absolute values.
Results: In plasma there was a significant increase in the proportion of saturated FA and a decrease in the proportion of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) both in the omega 6 (ω6) and omega 3 (ω3) series. On the other hand, in erythrocyte phospholipids there was a decrease in the proportion of eicosapentaenoic acid and an increase in that of docosahexaenoic acid. In the ω6 series, dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid increased, whereas the ω6 docosapentaenoic acid decreased.
Conclusion: There was a significant decrease in the proportion of ω3 PUFA in plasma from the first to the third trimester. Thus, it is suggested that the ω3 PUFA intake during pregnancy should be increased in the last trimester.
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