Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) required for infant development are produced by Δ6 desaturase (D6D) and Δ5 desaturase (D5D). The D6D index and D5D index are calculated based on their respective precursor/product ratios. The D5D and D6D indices are related to obesity and lifestyle-related diseases. The aim of the present study was to examine the associations of umbilical cord fatty acid profiles, D6D index, and D5D index in appropriate for gestational age (AGA), small for gestational age (SGA), and large for gestational age (LGA) infants. This was a nested case-control study, and the relationship between case and control maternal blood and umbilical cord blood fatty acid compositions was examined. Cases were small for gestational age (SGA; n = 55) and large for gestational age (LGA; n = 149) infants, whereas controls were appropriate for gestational age (AGA; n = 204) infants. Fatty acid profiles in maternal blood and umbilical cord plasma were analyzed by gas-liquid chromatography. The D6D index was calculated as dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA 20: 3 n-6) / linoleic acid (18: 2 n – 6), and the D5D index was calculated as arachidonic acid (20: 4 n – 6) / DGLA (20: 3 n – 6). Statistical analysis of umbilical cord blood fatty acids was performed with multiple comparisons. SGA infants showed high umbilical cord values for α-linolenic acid and DHA and lower values for DGLA compared to AGA infants. SGA infants showed a higher D5D index but a lower D6D index than AGA infants. LGA infants showed high values for α-linolenic acid and DGLA and lower values for arachidonic acid than AGA infants. LGA infants showed a high D6D index and a low D5D index relative to AGA infants. No significant differences in maternal blood fatty acid profiles, the D6D index, and D5D index desaturase activities were found among the three groups. There were differences in umbilical cord fatty acid profiles and D6D and D5D indices among AGA, SGA, and LGA infants, but further study is needed.Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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