Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA), especially the Omega 3, modulate key functions in the body. Their circulating levels are representative of their "status", and may vary at different ages.

We have compared the FA status in Italian subjects from neonates to adulthood, assessed through FA analysis of blood drops from fingertips. Data from four cohorts of Italian subjects (total number 1835), have been pooled in four age-groups: neonates (4 days, n=81), children (2-9 years, n=728), adults (40-59 years, n=434) and elderly (60-79 years, n=592).

LC-PUFA of both series (Omega 3 and 6) are higher in the blood of neonates than at subsequent ages, reflecting the efficient transfer of these FA from mothers to the fetus.

In contrast, the lowest levels of Omega 3 PUFA, especially of DHA, are found in children, probably reflecting inadequate dietary intakes, with possible consequences on the health status at subsequent ages.