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Open AccessArticle

Association of Whole Blood Fatty Acids and Growth in Southern Ghanaian Children 2–6 Years of Age

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Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, 469 Wilson Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
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Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota and Omega Quant Analytics, LLC, Sioux Falls, SD 57106, USA
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Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Ghana, P.O. Box LG 25, Accra 00233, Ghana
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School of Human Nutrition, McGill University, 21,111 Lakeshore Rd, Sainte Anne de Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(8), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10080954
Received: 14 June 2018 / Revised: 17 July 2018 / Accepted: 18 July 2018 / Published: 24 July 2018
In Ghana, stunting rates in children below 5 years of age vary regionally. Dietary fatty acids (FAs) are crucial for linear growth. The objective of this study was to determine the association between blood FAs and growth parameters in southern Ghanaian children 2–6 years of age. A drop of blood was collected on an antioxidant treated card and analyzed for FA composition. Weight and height were measured and z-scores calculated. Relationships between FAs and growth were analyzed by linear regressions and factor analysis. Of the 209 subjects, 22% were stunted and 10.6% were essential FA deficient (triene/tetraene ratio > 0.02). Essential FA did not differ between stunted and non-stunted children and was not associated with height-for-age z-score or weight-for-age z-score. Similarly, no relationships between other blood fatty acids and growth parameters were observed in this population. However, when blood fatty acid levels in these children were compared to previously reported values from northern Ghana, the analysis showed that blood omega-3 FA levels were significantly higher and omega-6 FA levels lower in the southern Ghanaian children (p < 0.001). Fish and seafood consumption in this southern cohort was high and could account for the lower stunting rates observed in these children compared to other regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: omega-3 index; Ghana; long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA); stunting; undernutrition; fish omega-3 index; Ghana; long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA); stunting; undernutrition; fish
MDPI and ACS Style

Adjepong, M.; Yakah, W.; Harris, W.S.; Colecraft, E.; Marquis, G.S.; Fenton, J.I. Association of Whole Blood Fatty Acids and Growth in Southern Ghanaian Children 2–6 Years of Age. Nutrients 2018, 10, 954.

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