Our research is about the significance of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for human development. Specifically, we will assess the effect of docasohexanoic acid (DHA) supplementation during pregnancy on infant growth and development through a randomized controlled intervention trial in Cuernavaca, Mexico. This will be a collaborative effort among the Department of International Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica (INSP) and the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), Cuernavaca, Mexico. Pregnant women (n=994) attending the IMSS General Hospital I will be recruited at 20-24 wks gestation and assigned randomly to receive either DHA (200 mg) or a placebo daily until delivery. The main study endpoints include a) birth outcomes: birth size, gestational age, cord blood levels of DHA and neurodevelopment, b) maternal blood and breast milk DHA levels at 1 and 3 mo post-partum), c) postnatal growth and development during the first 18 mo of age and d) infant DHA status at 3, 12 and 18 mo. All data collection will be carried out at the study headquarters (IMSS) except for home environment that will be assessed during home visits at 6 and 12 mo. Physical growth (length, weight, and head circumference) and infant development (Brazelton & Fagan test, visual and auditory evoked potentials, and Bayley scales of infant development) will be measured at birth, 1, 3, 6, 9, 12 and 18 mo by trained nurses and psychologists, respectively. Data will also be obtained on socioeconomic status, obstetric history, maternal diet, anthropometry and intelligence, quality of home environment and infant feeding practices. Data analyses will include group comparisons (intent-to-treat) after ensuring effectiveness of randomization, and structural equation modeling to examine the various pathways by which DHA supplementation during pregnancy affects child growth and development. The findings of this project will contribute significantly to our understanding of the functional consequences of DHA supplementation during pregnancy.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases Study Section (ECD)
Program Officer
Grave, Gilman D
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Emory University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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Gonzalez-Casanova, Ines; Stein, Aryeh D; Barraza-Villarreal, Albino et al. (2018) Prenatal exposure to environmental pollutants and child development trajectories through 7 years. Int J Hyg Environ Health 221:616-622
Kriss, Jennifer L; Ramakrishnan, Usha; Beauregard, Jennifer L et al. (2018) Yogurt consumption during pregnancy and preterm delivery in Mexican women: A prospective analysis of interaction with maternal overweight status. Matern Child Nutr 14:e12522
Gutierrez-Gomez, Yareni; Stein, Aryeh D; Ramakrishnan, Usha et al. (2017) Prenatal Docosahexaenoic Acid Supplementation Does Not Affect Nonfasting Serum Lipid and Glucose Concentrations of Offspring at 4 Years of Age in a Follow-Up of a Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial in Mexico. J Nutr 147:242-247
Gonzalez-Casanova, Ines; Stein, Aryeh D; Hao, Wei et al. (2015) Prenatal Supplementation with Docosahexaenoic Acid Has No Effect on Growth through 60 Months of Age. J Nutr 145:1330-4
Ramakrishnan, Usha; Stinger, Amanda; DiGirolamo, Ann M et al. (2015) Prenatal Docosahexaenoic Acid Supplementation and Offspring Development at 18 Months: Randomized Controlled Trial. PLoS One 10:e0120065
Ramirez-Silva, Ivonne; Rivera, Juan A; Trejo-Valdivia, Belem et al. (2015) Breastfeeding status at age 3 months is associated with adiposity and cardiometabolic markers at age 4 years in Mexican children. J Nutr 145:1295-302
Lee, Ho-Sun; Barraza-Villarreal, Albino; Biessy, Carine et al. (2014) Dietary supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acid during pregnancy modulates DNA methylation at IGF2/H19 imprinted genes and growth of infants. Physiol Genomics 46:851-7
Lee, Ho-Sun; Hernandez-Vargas, Hector; Biessy, Carine et al. (2013) Reply to GC Burdge. Am J Clin Nutr 98:1595-6
Lee, Ho-Sun; Barraza-Villarreal, Albino; Hernandez-Vargas, Hector et al. (2013) Modulation of DNA methylation states and infant immune system by dietary supplementation with ?-3 PUFA during pregnancy in an intervention study. Am J Clin Nutr 98:480-7
Stein, Aryeh D; Wang, Meng; Rivera, Juan A et al. (2012) Auditory- and visual-evoked potentials in Mexican infants are not affected by maternal supplementation with 400 mg/d docosahexaenoic acid in the second half of pregnancy. J Nutr 142:1577-81

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