Effect of reducing the n-6/n-3 fatty acid ratio on the maternal and fetal leptin axis in relation to infant body composition

Authors

  • Stefanie Brunner,

    1. Else Kröner-Fresenius-Center for Nutritional Medicine, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
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  • Daniela Schmid,

    1. Else Kröner-Fresenius-Center for Nutritional Medicine, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
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  • Kristina Hüttinger,

    1. Else Kröner-Fresenius-Center for Nutritional Medicine, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
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  • Daniela Much,

    1. Else Kröner-Fresenius-Center for Nutritional Medicine, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
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  • Monika Brüderl,

    1. Institute for Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
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  • Eva-Maria Sedlmeier,

    1. ZIEL—Research Center for Nutrition and Food Sciences, Nutritional Medicine Unit, Technische Universität München, Freising, Germany
    2. ZIEL PhD-Graduate School, “Epigenetics, Imprinting and Nutrition”, Technische Universität München, Freising, Germany
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  • Jürgen Kratzsch,

    1. Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, University Hospital Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
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  • Ulrike Amann-Gassner1,

    1. Else Kröner-Fresenius-Center for Nutritional Medicine, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
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  • Bernhard L Bader,

    1. ZIEL—Research Center for Nutrition and Food Sciences, Nutritional Medicine Unit, Technische Universität München, Freising, Germany
    2. ZIEL PhD-Graduate School, “Epigenetics, Imprinting and Nutrition”, Technische Universität München, Freising, Germany
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  • Hans Hauner

    Corresponding author
    1. Else Kröner-Fresenius-Center for Nutritional Medicine, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
    2. ZIEL—Research Center for Nutrition and Food Sciences, Nutritional Medicine Unit, Technische Universität München, Freising, Germany
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  • Disclosure: HH is on the Advisory Board for Weight Watchers International and has received grants from Riemser and Weight Watchers for clinical trials and payment for lectures from Novartis, Roche Germany, and Sanofi Aventis. All other authors declare no conflict of interest. Stefanie Brunner and Daniela Schmid have contributed equally to this work.

  • Contributions of the authors: HH, UAG and BLB designed research; DS, DM, SB, EMS and KH were responsible for data collection and trial management; MB performed the statistical analyses; SB wrote the manuscript; JK was responsible for laboratory analyses; all authors contributed to critical revision of the manuscript.

  • Funding agencies: The study was funded by grants from the Else Kröner-Fresenius Foundation, Bad Homburg, Germany; the International Unilever Foundation, Hamburg, Germany; the EU-funded EARNEST consortium (FOOD-CT-2005-007036), and the German Ministry of Education and Research via the Competence Network on Obesity (Kompetenznetz Adipositas, 01GI0842).

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the effect of reducing the n-6/n-3 fatty acid ratio in maternal nutrition on the maternal and cord blood leptin axis and their association with infant body composition up to 2 years.

Design and Methods

208 healthy pregnant women were randomized to either a dietary intervention to reduce the n-6/n-3 fatty acid ratio from 15th week of gestation until 4 months postpartum or a control group. Leptin, soluble leptin receptor and free leptin index were determined in maternal and cord plasma and related to infant body composition assessed by skinfold thicknesses up to 2 years.

Results

The intervention had no effect on either the maternal or fetal leptin axis. Maternal leptin in late pregnancy was inversely related to infant weight and lean body mass (LBM) up to 2 years, after multiple adjustments. Cord leptin was positively related to weight, body fat, and LBM at birth, and inversely associated with weight, BMI, fat mass, and LBM at 2 years and weight gain up to 2 years. The contribution of cord leptin to infant outcomes was overall stronger compared with maternal leptin.

Conclusions

Both, maternal and fetal leptin were associated with subsequent infant anthropometry with a greater impact of fetal leptin.

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