Children with high proportions of poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in cord blood at birth are more likely to develop respiratory and skin allergies in their early teens, according to research published July 10 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Malin Barman and colleagues from the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
The researchers followed nearly 800 children born in 1996-97 for diagnosis of allergies at age 13, and studied a subset of 44 who were diagnosed with respiratory allergies, 37 with chronic skin rashes and 48 who did not suffer allergies. Cord blood samples taken at birth from these participants revealed that individuals who suffered allergies later in life had higher proportions of unsaturated fatty acids.
Children with allergies at age 13 had higher proportions of omega-3 and omega-6 PUFAs in cord blood samples taken at birth. Compared to healthy children, allergy sufferers also had lower levels of mono-unsaturated fats in their cord blood. The risk of respiratory allergies in children with higher PUFA levels was equally significant in children with allergic and non-allergic mothers. The study says, "The mechanism by which these lipids affect allergy development is unknown, but may involve dampening of the immune activation in infancy needed for proper maturation of the infant's immune system."
Citation: Barman M, Johansson S, Hesselmar B, Wold AE, Sandberg A-S, et al. (2013) High Levels of Both n-3 and n-6 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Cord Serum Phospholipids Predict Allergy Development. PLOS ONE 8(7): e67920. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067920
Financial Disclosure: The work was supported by grants from the Swedish Research Council for Environmental, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS), Stockholm, Sweden, project number 216-2009-752; the Vastra Gotaland Region, Sweden; the Centre for Environment and Sustainability, GMV, Gothenburg, Sweden; the Research and Development Departments of the Jamtland and Norrbotten County Councils, Sweden; and the Th. C. Bergh Foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing Interest Statement: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
PLEASE LINK TO THE SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT (URL goes live after the embargo ends): http://dx.
Disclaimer: This press release refers to upcoming articles in PLOS ONE. The releases have been provided by the article authors and/or journal staff. Any opinions expressed in these are the personal views of the contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of PLOS. PLOS expressly disclaims any and all warranties and liability in connection with the information found in the release and article and your use of such information.
About PLOS ONE: PLOS ONE is the first journal of primary research from all areas of science to employ a combination of peer review and post-publication rating and commenting, to maximize the impact of every report it publishes. PLOS ONE is published by the Public Library of Science (PLOS), the open-access publisher whose goal is to make the world's scientific and medical literature a public resource.
All works published in PLOS ONE are Open Access. Everything is immediately available--to read, download, redistribute, include in databases and otherwise use--without cost to anyone, anywhere, subject only to the condition that the original authors and source are properly attributed. For more information about PLOS ONE relevant to journalists, bloggers and press officers, including details of our press release process and our embargo policy, see the everyONE blog at http://everyone.