Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are essential for neurodevelopment and the developing foetus depends on an optimal maternal status. Fish is a rich source of PUFA. The current study investigated dietary patterns, and associations with PUFA status in a high-fish consuming cohort of pregnant women in the Seychelles. At 28 weeks' gestation, pregnant women provided a blood sample, from which serum total PUFA concentrations were measured, A Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) and Fish Use Questionnaire (FUQ) were also completed. Principal component analysis (PCA) of dietary information identified four patterns. Regression analyses found dietary pattern 2, containing foods traditionally eaten in the Seychelles e.g., fish, fruit and vegetables was positively associated with serum docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (β = 0.134; CI = 0.001, 0.022), and serum total n-3 PUFA (β = 0.139; CI = 0.001, 0.023) concentrations. Dietary pattern 1, high in processed foods, snacks, white meat and eggs, was not significantly associated with any of the serum PUFA concentrations. The FUQ indicated that fatty fish was associated with EPA status (β = 0.180; CI = 0.001, 0.005) in high consumers. The second dietary pattern, consisting of higher consumption of fish and fruit, was positively associated with n-3 PUFA status during pregnancy.

PMID: 30036954

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