Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, pro-resolving mediators, and clinical outcomes in maternal-infant pairs

Tara M. Nordgren, Ann Anderson Berry, Matthew Van Ormer, Samuel Zoucha, Elizabeth Elliott, Rebecca Johnson, Elizabeth McGinn, Caleb Cave, Katherine Rilett, Kara Weishaar, Sai Sujana Maddipati, Harriet Appeah, Corrine K Hanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Omega (n)-3 fatty acids are vital to neonatal maturation, and recent investigations reveal n-3 fatty acids serve as substrates for the biosynthesis of specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators (SPM) that have anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating effects. The role SPM play in the protection against negative maternal-fetal health outcomes is unclear, and there are no current biomarkers of n-3 fatty acid sufficiency. We sought to ascertain the relationships between n-3 fatty acid intake, SPM levels, and maternal-fetal health outcomes. We obtained n-3 fatty acid intake information from 136 mothers admitted for delivery using a food frequency questionnaire and measured docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-derived SPMs resolvin D1 (RvD1) and RvD2 in maternal and cord plasma. We found significantly elevated SPM in maternal versus cord plasma, and increased SPM levels were associated with at-risk outcomes. We also identified that increased DHA intake was associated with elevated maternal plasma RvD1 (p = 0.03; R 2 = 0.18) and RvD2 (p = 0.04; R 2 = 0.20) in the setting of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission. These findings indicate that increased n-3 fatty acid intake may provide increased substrate for the production of SPM during high-risk pregnancy/delivery conditions, and that increased maternal plasma SPM could serve as a biomarker for negative neonatal outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number98
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • Fetal health
  • Omega-3 fatty acid
  • Pregnancy
  • Resolvins
  • Specialized pro-resolving lipid mediator (SPM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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