Next Article in Journal
Social Inequalities in Prenatal Folic Acid Supplementation: Results from the ELFE Cohort
Previous Article in Journal
Determinants of the Stunting of Children Under Two Years Old in Indonesia: A Multilevel Analysis of the 2013 Indonesia Basic Health Survey
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Impact of Mediterranean Dietary Patterns During Pregnancy on Maternal and Offspring Health
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessCommunication

Maternal Omega-3 Nutrition, Placental Transfer and Fetal Brain Development in Gestational Diabetes and Preeclampsia

Science and Technology, Pharmavite, LLC, West Hills, CA 91304, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1107; (registering DOI)
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 10 May 2019 / Accepted: 14 May 2019 / Published: 18 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Pregnancy Nutrition in Maternal and Offspring Health)
PDF [258 KB, uploaded 18 May 2019]


Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic fatty acid (DHA), are widely recognized to impact fetal and infant neurodevelopment. The impact of DHA on brain development, and its inefficient synthesis from the essential alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), has led to recommended DHA intakes of 250–375 mg eicosapentaenoic acid + DHA/day for pregnant and lactating women by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Despite these recommendations, the intake of omega-3s in women of child-bearing age in the US remains very low. The low maternal status of DHA prior to pregnancy could impair fetal neurodevelopment. This review focuses on maternal omega-3 status in conditions of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and preeclampsia, and the subsequent impact on placental transfer and cord blood concentration of omega-3s. Both GDM and preeclampsia are associated with altered maternal omega-3 status, altered placental omega-3 metabolism, reduced cord blood omega-3 levels and have an impact on neurodevelopment in the infant and on brain health later in life. These findings indicate lower DHA exposure of the developing baby may be driven by lower placental transfer in both conditions. Thus, determining approaches which facilitate increased delivery of DHA during pregnancy and early development might positively impact brain development in infants born to mothers with these diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: DHA; gestational diabetes; preeclampsia; placental transport DHA; gestational diabetes; preeclampsia; placental transport
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Devarshi, P.P.; Grant, R.W.; Ikonte, C.J.; Hazels Mitmesser, S. Maternal Omega-3 Nutrition, Placental Transfer and Fetal Brain Development in Gestational Diabetes and Preeclampsia. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1107.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Nutrients EISSN 2072-6643 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top