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Open AccessReview

Is there A Role for Alpha-Linolenic Acid in the Fetal Programming of Health?

1
The Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
2
Bert Strassburger Lipid Center, Sheba, Tel Hashomer, Ramat Gan 52621, Israel
Academic Editors: Lindsay Brown, Bernhard Rauch and Hemant Poudyal
J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(4), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm5040040
Received: 19 February 2016 / Revised: 11 March 2016 / Accepted: 15 March 2016 / Published: 23 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease)
The role of ω3 alpha linolenic acid (ALA) in the maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation, and its effect on the prevention of disease and programming of health in offspring, is largely unknown. Compared to ALA, ω3 docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA) acids have been more widely researched due to their direct implication in fetal neural development. In this literature search we found that ALA, the essential ω3 fatty acid and metabolic precursor of DHA and EPA has been, paradoxically, almost unexplored. In light of new and evolving findings, this review proposes that ALA may have an intrinsic role, beyond the role as metabolic parent of DHA and EPA, during fetal development as a regulator of gene programming for the prevention of metabolic disease and promotion of health in offspring. View Full-Text
Keywords: alpha linolenic acid; maternal diet; fetal programming; metabolic syndrome; gene expression; ω3 fatty acids alpha linolenic acid; maternal diet; fetal programming; metabolic syndrome; gene expression; ω3 fatty acids
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Leikin-Frenkel, A.I. Is there A Role for Alpha-Linolenic Acid in the Fetal Programming of Health? J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5, 40.

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