Randomized controlled trial of DHA supplementation during pregnancy: Child adiposity outcomes

Byron A. Foster, Elia Escaname, Theresa L. Powell, Benjamin Larsen, Sartaj K. Siddiqui, John Menchaca, Christian Aquino, Rajam Ramamurthy, Daniel E. Hale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Investigating safe and effective interventions in pregnancy that lower offspring adiposity is important given the burden of obesity and subsequent metabolic derangements. Our objective was to determine if docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) given during pregnancy to obese mothers results in lower offspring adiposity. This study was a long-term follow-up of a randomized trial of mothers with gestational diabetes or obesity who were randomized to receive DHA supplementation at 800 mg/day or placebo (corn/soy oil) starting at 25-29 weeks gestation. Anthropometric measures were collected at birth and maternal erythrocyte DHA and arachidonic (AA) levels were measured at 26 and 36 weeks gestation. At two- and four-year follow-up time points, offspring adiposity measures along with a diet recall were assessed. A significant increase in erythrocyte DHA levels was observed at 36 weeks gestation in the supplemented group (p < 0.001). While no significant differences by measures of adiposity were noted at birth, two or four years by randomization group, duration of breastfeeding (p < 0.001), and DHA level at 36 weeks (p = 0.002) were associated with body mass index z-score. Our data suggest that DHA supplementation during pregnancy in obese mothers may have long-lasting effects on offspring measures of adiposity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number566
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Children
  • Docosahexaenoic acid
  • Nutrient supplementation
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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