Background: Omega 3 (n-3) and 6 (n-6) long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) and the n-3:n-6 ratio are important for brain development. Whether maternal LC-PUFA status during pregnancy affects risk of problem behavior in later childhood is unclear.
Methods: Within a population-based cohort, we measured maternal plasma docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and arachidonic acid (AA) concentrations and n-3:n-6-ratio in mid-pregnancy. Child emotional and behavioral problems at 6 y of age were assessed by parents, teachers, and combined parent/teacher report.
Results: Higher maternal DHA and n-3:n-6 ratio were associated with fewer child emotional problems using parent and combined parent/teacher scores. Higher AA was associated with more child behavioral problems using teacher and combined parent/teacher scores. Maternal EPA was not associated with child problem behavior.
Conclusion: Indications of associations of maternal LC-PUFA status with child emotional and behavioral problems were found. Future research is needed to identify LC-PUFA–sensitive periods of fetal brain development by including multiple assessments of prenatal LC-PUFA status.,
Pediatric Research: international journal of human developmental biology
Generation R Study Group

Graaf,, J. C. de ., Tiemeier, H., Basten, M., Rijlaarsdam, J., Demmelmair, H., Koletzko, B., … Roza, S. (2015). Maternal LC-PUFA status during pregnancy and child problem behavior: The Generation R Study. Pediatric Research: international journal of human developmental biology, 77(3), 489–497. doi:10.1038/pr.2014.204