Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, Homocysteine at Birth and Fatty Acid Desaturase Gene Cluster Polymorphisms Are Associated with Children’s Processing Speed up to Age 9 Years
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AuthorCampoy Folgoso, Cristina; Azaryah, Hatim; Torres Espínola, Francisco J.; Martínez Zaldívar, Cristina; García Santos, José Antonio; Demmelmair, Hans; Ramírez Tortosa, María Carmen; Reischl, Eva; Luna Del Castillo, Juan De Dios; Pérez García, Miguel
Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acidsFolatePrenatal supplementationProcessing speedNeurodevelopmeFADS geneChildren
Campoy, C.; Azaryah, H.; Torres-Espínola, F.J.; Martínez-Zaldívar, C.; García-Santos, J.A.; Demmelmair, H.; Haile, G.; Györei, E.; Ramírez-Tortosa, M.d.C.; Reischl, E.; et al. Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, Homocysteine at Birth and Fatty Acid Desaturase Gene Cluster Polymorphisms Are Associated with Children’s Processing Speed up to Age 9 Years. Nutrients 2021, 13, 131. [https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010131]
SponsorshipEuropean Commission 212652 007036 QLK1-CT-1999-00888; European Commission European Commission Joint Research Centre DYNAHEALTH-633595 Lifecycle-733206; European Research Council Advanced Grant META-GROWTH ERC-2012AdG 322605; Erasmus Plus Programme Early Nutrition eAcademy Southeast Asia 573651EPP-1-2016-1-DE-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP; Erasmus Plus Programme Capacity Building to Improve Early Nutrition and Health in South Africa 598488-EPP-1-2018-1-DE-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP; EU Interreg Programme Focus in CD-CE111; European Joint Programming Initiative Project NutriPROGRAM and EndObesity; German Ministry of Education and Research, Berlin 01 GI 0825; German Research Foundation (DFG) Ko912/12-1 INST 409/224-1 FUGG; Else Kroner-Fresenius-Foundation; LMU University Hospitals
Both pre- and early postnatal supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), arachidonic acid (AA) and folate have been related to neural development, but their long-term effects on later neural function remain unclear. We evaluated the long-term effects of maternal prenatal supplementation with fish-oil (FO), 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF), placebo or FO + 5-MTHF, as well as the role of fatty acid desaturase (FADS) gene cluster polymorphisms, on their offspring’s processing speed at later school age. This study was conducted in NUHEAL children at 7.5 (n = 143) and 9 years of age (n = 127). Processing speed tasks were assessed using Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT), Children Color Trails Test (CCTT) and Stroop Color andWord Test (SCWT). Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, folate and total homocysteine (tHcy) levels were determined at delivery from maternal and cord blood samples. FADS and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677 C > T genetic polymorphisms were analyzed. Mixed models (linear and logistic) were performed. There were significant differences in processing speed performance among children at different ages (p < 0.001). The type of prenatal supplementation had no effect on processing speed in children up to 9 years. Secondary exploratory analyses indicated that children born to mothers with higher AA/DHA ratio at delivery (p < 0.001) and heterozygotes for FADS1 rs174556 (p < 0.05) showed better performance in processing speed at 9 years. Negative associations between processing speed scores and maternal tHcy levels at delivery were found. Our findings suggest speed processing development in children up to 9 years could be related to maternal factors, including AA/DHA and tHcy levels, and their genetic background, mainly FADS polymorphism. These considerations support that maternal prenatal supplementation should be quantitatively adequate and individualized to obtain better brain development and mental performance in the offspring.