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Omega-3 Supplementation Decreases Inflammation and Fetal Obesity in Pregnancy

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00957476
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : August 12, 2009
Last Update Posted : May 3, 2018
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Patrick Catalano, MetroHealth Medical Center

Brief Summary:
Randomized, double-blind placebo controlled trial of fish oil to decrease inflammation in pregnancy.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Inflammation Obesity Pregnancy Fetal Growth Dietary Supplement: Omega-3 Fish Oil Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

In addition to the increase in obesity in adult and children, there has been a significant increase in birth weights over the last 2 decades. Based on our preliminary data, maternal pre-gravid obesity is the strongest risk factor for neonatal as well as adolescent obesity. The long-term goals of our research are to examine therapeutic strategies to decrease fetal adiposity. Obesity and pregnancy are both insulin resistant conditions associated with chronic low-grade inflammation. Therefore, we hypothesize that n-3 PUFA dietary supplements during pregnancy will act as insulin sensitizers decreasing peripheral insulin resistance and inflammation. If correct this mechanism should decrease availability of maternal nutrients to the fetus and subsequently reduce adiposity at birth. We plan a prospective randomized double blind control trial of n-3 PUFA supplementation and placebo in overweight/obese women, with a previous cesarean delivery, initiated in early pregnancy and maintained throughout pregnancy. This proposal has two specific aims. Specific aim 1 is to evaluate the effect of n-3 PUFA supplementation on maternal insulin sensitivity. Measures of maternal insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism will be made using the ISogtt, indirect calorimetry body composition (BODPOD) and plasma lipid profile at baseline and after dietary intervention.

Specific aim 2 will assess the effect of n-3 PUFA on the inflammatory status in overweight/obese pregnant women. We hypothesize that n-3 PUFA supplementation decreases chronic inflammation during pregnancy by preventing monocyte activation and accumulation of macrophages in WAT thus lowering systemic concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines. We plan to characterize the longitudinal changes in circulating monocytes and plasma adipokines in order to define the inflammatory patterns in both groups over time. We will also determine the abundance and phenotype of macrophages infiltrating WAT using flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry and gene expression profiling. Furthermore, the role of PPARγ as a central target of n-3 PUFA action to regulate insulin sensitivity will be examined by characterizing the expression of PPARγ in WAT of both supplemented and control groups. Additionally, we will investigate the direct affect of n-3 PUFA on the expression of adiponectin and PPARγ regulated genes in primary cultured adipocytes.

In summary, this proposal combines both clinical and molecular methodologies in an overweight/obese subject population in order to assess the effect of n-3 PUFA on inflammation and insulin resistance. Preliminary data will also be obtained on fetal body composition in order to later address the prevention of the long term adverse effects (developmental programming) of maternal obesity in the developing fetus.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 72 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Omega-3 Supplementation Decreases Inflammation and Fetal Obesity in Pregnancy
Study Start Date : September 2009
Actual Primary Completion Date : March 2012
Actual Study Completion Date : June 2013

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Omega-3 Fish Oil
800mg DHA & 1200mg EPA
Dietary Supplement: Omega-3 Fish Oil
800mg DHA and 1200mg EPA or the equivalent of a placebo PO (by mouth) once a day from enrollment (prior to 16 weeks gestation) until delivery.

Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Wheat germ oil
Dietary Supplement: Omega-3 Fish Oil
800mg DHA and 1200mg EPA or the equivalent of a placebo PO (by mouth) once a day from enrollment (prior to 16 weeks gestation) until delivery.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Decreased inflammation during human pregnancy [ Time Frame: enrollment (8-16 weeks) to delivery ]
    cytokine concentration in plasma, placenta and white adipose tissue

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Reduction of insulin resistance [ Time Frame: enrollment (8-16 weeks) to delivery ]
    insulin sensitivity as estimated by OGTT

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 40 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • BMI (wt/ht2) > or = 25 at first antenatal visit
  • Gestational age at randomization between 8-16 weeks
  • No medical problems such as hyperlipidemia, hypertension, or pregestational diabetes
  • Between the ages of 18 and 40 years old
  • Non-smokers
  • No obstetrical problems such as a history of preeclampsia or gestational diabetes
  • Confirmed singleton pregnancy

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Major fetal anomaly
  • Regular intake of fish oil supplements (defined as greater than 500 mg per week within the last four weeks). This is due to the placebo group receiving fish oil outside of the study.
  • Daily use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents
  • Allergy to fish or fish products, gluten intolerant (because the placebo contains wheat germ oil, which is not gluten free).
  • Women who are vegetarians and do not eat any fish.
  • Infants born preterm (less than 36 weeks gestation) or less than 2kg.
  • Heparin use or known thrombophilia (thrombophilias include homozygous for Factor V Leiden).
  • Moderate or high titer IgG anticardiolipin antibodies or prolonged activated PTT or other indication of presence of lupus anticoagulant, homozygous for prothrombin gene (G20210A) mutation, antithrombin III deficiency.
  • Protein S (low levels outside of pregnancy) or Protein C deficiency.
  • Hyperhomocysteinemia (due to safety concerns because n-3 may affect bleeding time).
  • Hemophiliacs including von Willebrand's disease (because of safety concerns associated with the hemophilia treatment combined with the n-3 supplements).
  • Planned termination of pregnancy.
  • Current hypertension or current use of antihypertensive medication (including diuretics), due to increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcome.
  • Pregestational diabetes due to increased risks of affecting fetal growth. We will not exclude women who develop GDM during pregnancy but consider a sub-analyses of these women depending on the number of subjects. Known maternal medical complications: cancer (including melanoma but excluding other skin cancers).
  • Current hyperthyroidism if not adequately controlled.
  • Renal disease with altered renal function (serum creatinine > 1.5).
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorder.
  • Systemic lupus (not discoid lupus), scleroderma, polymyalgia rheumatic.
  • Active liver disease (acute hepatitis, chronic active hepatitis, persistently abnormal liver enzymes).
  • Platelet or red blood cell disorder (including idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura, a history of alloimmune thrombocytopenia in a previous offspring, significant anemia due to hemoglobinopathy but not sickle cell trait. Iron deficiency anemia will NOT be an exclusion as long as the hemoglobin is > 8 gm/dl).
  • Chronic pulmonary disease (asthma of any degree of severity is NOT an exclusion).
  • Structural, functional or ischemic heart disease. Neither mitral valve prolapse nor paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia are considered exclusions.
  • Known HIV positive with viral load greater than 1,000 copies/ml or CD4 count less than 350/mm3.
  • Current or planned cerclage due to interference with the natural cause of delivery.
  • Illicit drug or alcohol abuse during current pregnancy.
  • At the time of birth, all infants will be evaluated by a pediatrician to make sure that they are healthy. Infants will be excluded from further study if they have any medical problems such as respiratory distress syndrome.
  • Infants will also be excluded if they have any problems that exclude them from having estimation of body composition, for e.g. birth weight less than 2 kg.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00957476

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United States, Ohio
MetroHealth Medical Center
Cleveland, Ohio, United States, 44109
Sponsors and Collaborators
MetroHealth Medical Center
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
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Principal Investigator: Patrick M Catalano, MD MetroHealth Medical Center
Principal Investigator: Sylvie Hauguel-de Mouzon, PhD MetroHealth Medical Center
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Patrick Catalano, Professor Reproductive Biology, MetroHealth Medical Center Identifier: NCT00957476    
Other Study ID Numbers: IRB06-00255
R01HD057236 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: August 12, 2009    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 3, 2018
Last Verified: May 2018
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Yes
Plan Description: when data analysis completed
Supporting Materials: Study Protocol
Time Frame: when data analysis completed
Access Criteria: when data analysis completed
Keywords provided by Patrick Catalano, MetroHealth Medical Center:
Metabolic Diseases
Fetal adiposity
Insulin Resistance
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Nutrition Disorders
Body Weight
Pathologic Processes