Plasma Phospholipids Monounsaturated Fatty Acids and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: a Longitudinal Study in the NICHD Fetal Growth Studies-Singleton Cohort
Fatty acids (FAs) have been implicated in the development of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) but the role of monounsaturated FAs (MUFAs) remains understudied. We aimed to investigate the associations of plasma phospholipid MUFAs in early-mid pregnancy with cardiometabolic biomarkers and GDM risk. From the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Fetal Growth Studies-Singletons (2009-2013), we identified 107 GDM cases according to the Carpenter and Coustan criteria and 214 non-GDM controls, matched (2:1) to cases on age, race/ethnicity, and gestational week (GW) of blood collection. MUFAs were measured at 10-14, 15-26, 23-31 and 33-39 GW by gas chromatography mass spectrometry. We found that the concentration of total 18:1 MUFAs was significantly lower among women with GDM compared to non-GDM controls at 15-26 GW. Each standard deviation (SD) increment in the level of total 18:1 MUFAs was associated with 40% lower risk of GDM at 15-26 GW. Moreover, each SD increment in vaccenic acid (18:1n7) levels at 10-14 and 15-26 GW were associated with a 36% and 45% lower risk of GDM, respectively. Our extensive MUFAs assessments advance our understanding of the unique associations of fatty acid composition with GDM risk, suggesting their potentially beneficial roles in GDM pathophysiology.