It is web established that marine n-3 fatty acids measured in erythrocyte phospholipids of non-pregnant subjects reflect the subjects' intake of these fatty acids. In 135 pregnant women in the 30th week of gestation we compared intake of marine n-3 fatty acids and energy, estimated by a combined dietary self-administered questionnaire and interview, with fatty acids measured in erythrocyte phospholipids. Daily intake (g/d) and nutrient density of marine n-3 fatty acids (mg/MJ) correlated with the n-3 fatty acid: arachidonic acid ratio (FA-ratio) with correlation coefficients of 0.48 and 0.54 respectively. In a linear regression model with three frequency questions about marine sandwiches, marine cooked meals and fish oil as explanatory variables, and the FA-ratio as dependent variable, the multiple correlation coefficient was 0.46. Conclusions from the study were (1) levels of erythrocyte fatty acids in pregnant women may be employed as a qualitative method to rank subjects according to intake of marine n-3 fatty acids; (2) with respect to the power to explain FA-ratio variability, three simple marine food frequency questions were comparable with intake of marine n-3 fatty acids assessed by an elaborate semiquantitative dietary method involving an interview.
- dietary methods
- marine n-3 fatty acids