Phospholipid fatty acids in cord blood: family history and development of allergy

Acta Paediatr. 1996 Jun;85(6):679-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1996.tb14124.x.


The fatty acid composition of umbilical cord serum phospholipids was investigated by gas chromatography in 33 infants with allergic and 35 babies of non-allergic mothers. The relative levels of the linoleic acid metabolites C20:3, arachidonic acid (AA, C20:4) and C22:4n-6, and two alpha-linolenic acid metabolites, i.e. eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6) were significantly higher in infants of allergic mothers than in non-allergic mothers (all p < 0.05). Furthermore, an altered proportional relationship between the various fatty acids in n-6 series fatty acids and between n-3 and n-6 series fatty acids was present already at birth in infants who developed allergic disease during their first 6 years of life. These observations cannot be employed for the prediction of allergy, however, as the individual variations were considerable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / blood*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / chemistry
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / blood*
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / chemistry
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / immunology*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Phospholipids / blood*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / immunology*


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Phospholipids