Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Background: It remains controversial whether fatty acid (FA) composition of breast milk relates to development of atopy in the infant. This study evaluates FA in colostrum from mothers of children at high risk of atopy in association with atopy at the age of 1 year.Methods: The FA of colostrum were analyzed for 218 children (60 with low birth weight between 1500 and 2500 g, 84 with a history of maternal atopy, and 74 with an elevated cord blood immunoglobulin (Ig)E of 〉0.9 IU/ml). Total lipids were extracted, methylated and separated by gas–liquid chromatography. Laboratory screening for allergic sensitization and clinical examination took place within the Leipzig Allergy Risk Children's Study (LARS).Results: Low birth weight was correlated with low percentage levels of 20:2n-6, 22:2n-6, and 22:3n-3 (r = 0.14, P 〈 0.05; r = 0.14, P 〈 0.05 and r = 0.20, P 〈 0.01, respectively) and low gestational age at birth was correlated with low 22:3n-3 (r = 0.15, P 〈 0.05). There was no association between FA and atopic eczema at the age of 1 year. However, high linoleic acid (LA, 18:2n-6) was linked to high specific IgE against cow's milk protein (P 〈 0.05), and low docosapentaenoic acid (DPA, 22:5n-3) was associated with elevated total serum IgE (P 〈 0.05) at the age of 1 year, respectively.Conclusions: The polyunsaturated fatty acid composition of colostrum in a high risk newborn population shows associations with atopic sensitization at the age of 1 year and may be predictive for later atopic disease.
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