The Salmon in Pregnancy Study investigated whether the increased consumption of (n-3) long-chain PUFA (LC-PUFA) from farmed Atlantic salmon affects immune function during pregnancy and atopic disease in neonates compared with a habitual diet low in oily fish. In this context, because the ingestion of (n-3) LC-PUFA may lower the concentrations of inflammatory biomarkers, we investigated whether the consumption of oily fish affects the levels of inflammatory cytokines and vascular adhesion factors during pregnancy. Pregnant women (n = 123) were randomly assigned to continue their habitual diet (control group, n = 61), which was low in oily fish, or to consume two 150-g salmon portions/wk (salmon group, n = 62; providing 3.45 g EPA plus DHA) from 20 wk of gestation until delivery. Plasma inflammatory cytokines and vascular adhesion factors were measured in maternal plasma samples. Inflammatory biomarkers, including IL-8, hepatocyte growth factor, and monocyte chemotactic protein, increased over the course of pregnancy (P < 0.001), whereas plasma matrix metalloproteinase 9, IL-6, TNFα, and nerve growth factor concentrations were not affected. Vascular homeostasis biomarkers soluble E-selectin, soluble vascular adhesion molecule-1, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (sICAM)-1, and total plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 increased as pregnancy progressed (P < 0.001). The plasma sICAM-1 concentration was greater in the control group than in the salmon group at wk 20 (baseline) and 38 (P = 0.007) but there was no group x time interaction, and when baseline concentration was used as a covariate, the groups did not differ (P = 0.69). The remaining biomarkers analyzed were similar in both groups. Therefore, although some inflammatory and vascular homeostasis biomarkers change during pregnancy, they are not affected by the increased intake of farmed salmon.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00801502.