Dominika Jamioł-Milc, Ewa Stachowska, Tomasz Janus, Anna Barcz, Dariusz Chlubek


Introduction: The studies suggest that trans fatty acids are the most harmful type of fatty acids, and their ingestion leads to an increase in oxidative stress, changes in the plasma levels of LDL cholesterol, and a reduction in n-6 and n-3 fatty acids utilization. The objective of this study was to determine the concentration profiles of elaidic and vaccenic acids in maternal blood plasma in the perinatal period, and in the plasma of blood collected from the umbilical vein. The article deals with the issue of the correlation between the levels of trans-unsaturated fatty acids in maternal and neonatal blood, which could suggest the transplacental transport of these acids. The potential correlations between the levels of trans-unsaturated fatty acids in maternal and umbilical blood and birth weight and body length in neonates was also verified.

Material and methods: The study group comprised 53 pregnant patients of the Clinic of Obstetrics and Perinatology of the Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, aged 18–39 years, together with their newborn babies. Elaidic and vaccenic acid levels were determined in maternal and umbilical plasma. Fatty acid methyl esters were injected onto the capillary column of the Agilent 6890M gas chromatography system integrated with an autosampler. The content of individual fatty acids was determined from the reference curves and expressed in mg/mL.

Results: The lowest levels of both acids were observed in umbilical blood plasma. The level of elaidic acid was 0.0019 mg/mL ±0.0013 mg/mL, while the level of vaccenic acid was 0.0007 mg/mL ±0.0011 mg/mL. A statistically significant negative correlation was observed between maternal vaccenic acid levels and umbilical vaccenic acid levels.

Conclusions: The presence of trans-unsaturated fatty acids (elaidic acid and vaccenic acid) in umbilical plasma is evidence of the transplacental transport of these acids. The significantly higher levels of elaidic acid compared to vaccenic acid in umbilical plasma suggests that vaccenic acid is more extensively metabolized in placenta. The levels of trans-unsaturated fatty acids had no effect on birth weight and body length in neonates.


trans fatty acids; vaccenic acid; elaidic acid; pregnancy; cord blood

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21164/pomjlifesci.52

Copyright (c) 2016 Dominika Jamioł-Milc, Ewa Stachowska, Tomasz Janus, Anna Barcz, Dariusz Chlubek

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