Ova of obese women have lower omega-3 levels

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The oocytes, immature ova, from obese and overweight women have lower concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids, according to a new study by researchers from the University of the Basque Country in Leioa, Spain and published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

A study of the lipid composition of 922 ova obtained during in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment from 205 women of normal build and who were overweight or obese has found that the oocytes of both obese and overweight women have a very different lipid composition.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential in the human diet, meaning they must be ingested because the body cannot synthesize them. The intake of them tends to be low in the Western diet.

Obesity is a well-known public health problem with numerous repercussions on different organs. One implication is the birth of macrosomic babies with a high weight, and the subsequent risk of childhood and adult obesity, researchers said.

“Obese patients tend to have poorer IVF outcomes, which have been attributed to a whole range of motives,” said Roberto Matorras-Weinig, MD, PhD, lecturer at the university and lead author of the study. “This discovery highlights another possible cause of these poorer outcomes"