Omega-3 fatty acid supplement use and oxidative stress levels in pregnancy

Erin G. Sley, Emma M. Rosen, Thomas J. van ‘t Erve, Sheela Sathyanarayana, Emily S. Barrett, Ruby H.N. Nguyen, Nicole R. Bush, Ginger L. Milne, Shanna H. Swan, Kelly K. Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Oxidative stress is a biological imbalance in reactive oxygen species and antioxidants. Increased oxidative stress during pregnancy has been associated with adverse birth outcomes. Omega-3 fatty acid (n-3 FA) supplementation may decrease oxidative stress; however, this relationship is seldom examined during pregnancy. This study assessed the association between n-3 FA supplement use during pregnancy and urinary oxidative stress biomarker concentrations. Data came from The Infant Development and the Environment Study (TIDES), a prospective cohort study that recruited pregnant women in 4 US cities between 2010–2012. Third trimester n-3 FA intake was self-reported. Third trimester urinary 8-iso-prostaglandin F (8-iso-PGF) was measured as an oxidative stress biomarker. Additionally, we measured the major metabolite of 8-iso-PGF and Prostaglandin F2α (PGF) and utilized the 8-iso-PGF to PGF ratio to calculate the change in 8-iso-PGF2α reflecting oxidative stress versus inflammation. Adjusted linear models were used to determine associations with control for confounding. Of 725 women, 165 reported n-3 FA supplement use in the third trimester. In adjusted linear models, n-3 FA use was associated with 10.2% lower levels of 8-iso-PGF (95% Confidence Interval [CI]: -19.6, 0.25) and 10.3% lower levels of the metabolite (95% CI: -17.1, -2.91). No associations were observed with PGF2α. The lower levels of 8-iso-PGF appeared to reflect a decrease in oxidative stress (percent change with supplement use: -18.7, 95% CI: -30.1, -5.32) rather than inflammation. Overall, third trimester n-3 FA intake was associated with lower concentrations of 8-iso-PGF and its metabolite, suggesting a decrease in maternal oxidative stress during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0240244
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Public Library of Science. All rights reserved.


  • Adult
  • Antioxidants/therapeutic use
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3/therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Oxidation-Reduction/drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress/drug effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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