The ova of overweight women have lower concentration of omega-3 fatty acid, a new study found.
The study derived its results from the lipid composition of 922 ova obtained during IVF treatment from 2,015 women who were overweight. Researchers found that the oocytes (a cell in ovary) of both obese and overweight women have a very different lipid composition.
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential part of human diet that have be ingested as the body cannot synthesise them. Some of its common sources are certain kinds of fish, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts and soybeans. “Omega-3 fatty acids compete metabolically with omega-6 ones, and the intake of the latter tends to be too high in the western diet. So the high intake of omega-6 fatty acids contributes towards low levels of omega-3 ones. Presumably this is the mechanism responsible for their low levels in the ova,” Dr Matorras, Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties at the UPV/EHU, was quoted as saying.
Obesity is a common health problem which can often have serious repercussions on different organs. “One of its implications in pregnancy is the birth of macrosomic babies (with a high weight), and the subsequent risk of childhood and adult obesity. Until now, this had been attributed to the effect of maternal obesity during pregnancy as well as to unsuitable diets during childhood. But these findings raise the possibility that the problems of these children may start even before conception, due to the poorer lipid composition of the ova which have generated them,” the researcher added.
The study was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, and was led by Roberto Matorras-Weinig, lecturer at the UPV/EHU’s Faculty of Medicine and Nursing.
(With inputs from ANI)