Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been studied in relation to pregnancy. However, there is limited knowledge on PUFAs and their metabolites in relation to hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), a pregnancy complication associated with nutritional deficiencies and excessive vomiting. In order to survey the field, a systematic review of the literature was performed, which also included nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) due to its close relationship with HG. In the very few published studies found, the main subjects of the research concerned free fatty acids (four records), lipid profiles (three records), and bioactive lipids (one article about prostaglandin E2
and one about endocannabinoids). The authors of these studies concluded that, although no cause-and-effect relationship can be established, HG is linked to increased sympathetic responsiveness, thermogenic activity and metabolic rate. In addition, NVP is linked to a metabolic perturbance (which lasts throughout pregnancy). The low number of retrieved records underlines the need for more research in the area of PUFAs and HG, especially with regard to the underlying mechanism for the detected effects, potentially involving growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) since evidence for GDF15 regulation of lipid metabolism and the role for GDF15 and its receptor in nausea and vomiting is emerging.
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