+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Trans Fatty acids: infant and fetal development



Trans Fatty acids: infant and fetal development



American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 66(3): 715s-736s



This review evaluates scientific data associated with the possibility that trans fatty acids compromise fetal and infant early development. Concerns have been triggered by research that has heightened our awareness of the importance of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids; shown that trans fatty acids inhibit delta6 desaturation of linoleic acid; identified trans fatty acid isomers in fetal, infant, and maternal tissues; and reported an inverse association between the trans fatty acid content of tissue lipids and measures of growth and development. Animal studies provide little evidence that trans fatty acids influence growth, reproduction, or gross aspects of fetal development. However, these models may not have been appropriate for addressing all the subtle effects that influence development of human infant retinal, neural, or brain function. Human studies are hampered by the complexity of the interrelations among nutritional, genetic, and environmental factors and by ethical considerations that constrain the research design. Existing data have not established a causal relation between trans fatty acid intake and early development. Conclusions cannot be drawn from the possible association found between trans fatty acid exposure and lower n-3 and n-6 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and growth because of confounding factors. Few studies addressed the question of whether trans fatty acids adversely affect human fetal growth. One study reported a correlation between the trans fatty acid content of plasma and birth weight of preterm infants and one study reported a relation between preterm births and the trans fatty acid content of maternal plasma. Limited associative data have addressed whether trans fatty acids adversely affect fetal and infant neurodevelopment and growth. The interpretation of existing research and development of recommendations should be done cautiously. Suggestions for research to clarify these issues are made.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 018188772

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 9280199

DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/66.3.715s


Related references

The importance of essential fatty acids and the effect of trans fatty acids in human milk on fetal and neonatal development. Cadernos de Saude Publica 23(3): 525-534, 2007

Influence of trans fatty acids on infant and fetus development. Acta Microbiologica Polonica 52 Suppl: 67-74, 2003

Influence of trans fatty acids on infant and fetus development. Acta Microbiologica Polonica 52(Suppl.): 67-74, 2003

Maternal trans fatty acid intake and trans fatty acids in plasma of mother-infant pairs. FASEB Journal 10(3): A190, 1996

The role of trans fatty acids in atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and infant development. International Angiology 27(2): 146-156, 2008

Are n-3 fatty acids essential nutrients for fetal and infant development?. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 93(1): 58-64, 1993

Upper limits of nutrients in infant formulas: polyunsaturated fatty acids and trans fatty acids. Journal of Nutrition 119(12 Suppl.): 1810-3; Discussion 1816-7, 1989

Gas chromatographic analysis of infant formulas for total fatty acids, including trans fatty acids. Journal of Aoac International 85(1): 86-94, 2002

Fatty acids and aldehydes of brain phospholipids during fetal and infant development in man. Journal of Neurochemistry 15(11): 1351-1359, 1968

Trans fatty acids in pregnancy Relationships to essential fatty acids and infant outcome. FASEB Journal 15(5): A1086, 2001

trans Fatty acids in human milk are inversely associated with concentrations of essential all-cis n-6 and n-3 fatty acids and determine trans, but not n-6 and n-3, fatty acids in plasma lipids of breast-fed infants. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 70(3): 383-390, 1999

Secular trends in trans fatty acids: decreased trans fatty acids in the food supply are reflected in decreased trans fatty acids in plasma. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 97(4): 665-666, 2013

Dietary trans fatty acids combined with a marginal essential fatty acid status during the pre- and postnatal periods do not affect growth or brain fatty acids but may alter behavioral development in B6D2F(2) mice. Journal of Nutrition 131(5): 1568-1573, 2001

Infant plasma trans, n-6, and n-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acids are related to maternal plasma fatty acids, length of gestation, and birth weight and length. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 73(4): 807-814, 2001

Fatty acid composition of French infant formulas with emphasis on the content and detailed profile of trans fatty acids. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society 73(11): 1595-1601, 1996