Omega 3 fatty acid supplementation in diabetic pregnancy
Implications for the genesis of diabetogenic factors in the offspring
In diabetic pregnancies, there is an increased risk of birth defects and we have discovered a membrane defect in diabetic pregnant women, the consequences of which are passed on to the fetus.
Our previous work on diabetes in pregnancy at St Thomas' Hospital funded by the Mother and Child Foundation and Diabetes UK has uncovered a disturbing metabolic deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids in blood cell membranes in the mother that also appears in the blood of the newborn child. We have evidence that this deficiency during fetal life retards brain development and harms the development of the arteries. Moreover, we have evidence that gives reason to believe this deficit is causative of prenatal programming of vascular disorder and neurological deficits in the fetus that will affect health in adult life. Therefore we consider it of vital importance to establish if supplementation can correct the deficits in the mother and therefore help protect both her and the fetus.
This trial has been carried out at London's Newham University Hospital in collaboration with Professor Ovrang Djahanbakhch, Mr Manickam Raveendran and research midwives Joanne Hutchinson and Irene Namuquer. The recruitment and follow-up of women was completed on 1 June 2012.
This work is funded by The Foyle Foundation, The Letten Foundation, Vifor Pharma, FP6 Marie Curie Actions-Transfer of Knowledge (MTKD-CT-2005-029914), Sir Halley Stewart Trust, Newham University Hospital NHS Trust and Diabetes Research Network (North East London Diabetes Local Research Network).
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