Lipids

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 345–349

n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Atopy in Korean Preschoolers

  • Inkyung Hwang
  • Aeri Cha
  • Hyosun Lee
  • Hyejung Yoon
  • Taeho Yoon
  • Byungmann Cho
  • Suill Lee
  • Yongsoon Park
Original Article

Abstract

Atopy is a growing problem for Korean children. Since eicosapentaenoic acid is a precursor of less active inflammatory eicosanoids, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) may have a protective effect on atopy. This study was undertaken to determine whether n-3 PUFA in red blood cells (RBC) is lower in atopic than in non-atopic preschoolers. Three hundred and eight Korean children aged 4–6 years were enrolled. Total RBC fatty acid composition was measured by gas chromatography. The prevalence of atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, or asthma was 29%. Total RBC n-3 PUFA were lower in preschoolers with atopy than controls (9.8 ± 1.2 vs. 11.4 ± 1.6%; P < 0.05), while n-6 PUFA (33.0 ± 1.4 vs. 32.2 ± 1.0%; P < 0.05) and n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio (3.4 ± 0.6 vs. 2.8 ± 0.5; P < 0.05) were greater. The following factors were also associated with an increase in atopy: higher saturated fatty acids (39.6 ± 1.4 vs. 40.6 ± 1.9; P < 0.05) and arachidonic acid (15.3 ± 1.6 vs. 16.0 ± 2.9; P < 0.05), and lower total PUFA (43.8 ± 0.7 vs. 42.8 ± 1.4; P < 0.05) and omega-3 index (EPA + DHA; 9.1 ± 0.8 vs. 7.8 ± 0.5; P < 0.05) in RBC. Maternal history of atopy was a significant (P < 0.05) risk factor, while lactation was not. The results suggest that a reduced content of n-3 PUFA in the RBC membrane could play a role in early children atopy.

Keywords

Atopy Children Docosahexaenoic acid Eicosapentaenoic acid n-3 fatty acids 

Copyright information

© AOCS 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inkyung Hwang
    • 1
  • Aeri Cha
    • 2
  • Hyosun Lee
    • 1
  • Hyejung Yoon
    • 1
  • Taeho Yoon
    • 1
  • Byungmann Cho
    • 1
  • Suill Lee
    • 1
  • Yongsoon Park
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Preventive and Occupational Medicine, College of MedicinePusan National UniversityPusanSouth Korea
  2. 2.Health Promotion CenterSamsung Heavy Industries H.S.E Medical ClinicGeo-jeSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Human EcologyHanyang UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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