Location: Children's Nutrition Research CenterTitle: Low serum omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and other metabolites are associated with poor linear growth in young children from rural Malawi
|SEMBA, RICHARD - Johns Hopkins University School Of Medicine|
|TREHAN, INDI - Washington University|
|LI, XIMIN - Johns Hopkins School Of Public Health|
|SALEM, NORMAN - Dsm Nutritional Products, Ltd|
|MOADDEL, RUIN - National Institute On Aging (NIA, NIH)|
|ORDIZ, M - Washington University|
|MALETA, KENNETH - University Of Malawi|
|KRAEMER, KLAUS - Johns Hopkins School Of Public Health|
|MANARY, MARK - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)|
Submitted to: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/3/2017
Publication Date: 10/25/2017
Citation: Semba, R.D., Trehan, I., Li, X., Salem, N.J., Moaddel, R., Ordiz, M.I., Maleta, K.M., Kraemer, K., Manary, M.J. 2017. Low serum omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and other metabolites are associated with poor linear growth in young children from rural Malawi. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 106(6):1490-1499. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.117.164384.
Interpretive Summary: Stunting affects about 25% of children under five and decreases cognitive and motor development and increases illness and death, but what makes stunted children unique on a molecular level is poorly understood. Blood samples were collected from stunted Malawian children and compared to non-stunted children. Stunted children were found to have low levels of compounds that are essential for growth, brain development, fat breakdown, protection against cell damage, and had an increase in compounds that are typically found in children exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke.
Technical Abstract: Stunting affects ~25% of children <5 y of age and is associated with impaired cognitive and motor development and increased morbidity and mortality. The pathogenesis of stunting is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to identify altered metabolic pathways associated with child stunting. We measured 677 serum metabolites using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in a cross-sectional study of 400 Malawian children aged 12-59 mo, of whom 62% were stunted. A low height-for-age z score (HAZ) was associated with lower serum concentrations of 1) omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), 2) sulfated neurosteroids, which play a role in brain development, 3) carnitine, a conditionally essential nutrient with an important role in the carnitine shuttle for the metabolism of fatty acids and energy production, and 4) gamma-glutamyl amino acids, which represent an altered gamma-glutamyl cycle of glutathione metabolism. A low HAZ was associated with significantly higher serum concentrations of 5 biomarkers related to cigarette smoke exposure. This metabolomics study shows a cross-sectional association between stunting and low serum omega-3 and omega-6 long-chain PUFAs, which are essential for growth and development; low sulfated neurosteroids, which play a role in brain development; low carnitine, which is essential for beta-oxidation of fatty acids; alterations in glutathione metabolism; and increased serum metabolites that are associated with secondhand tobacco smoke exposure.