Effect of a daily snack containing green leafy vegetables on women's fatty acid status: a randomized controlled trial in Mumbai, India

Harsha V. Chopra, Sarah H. Kehoe, Sirazul A. Sahariah, Harshad N. Sane, Vanessa A. Cox, Dnyaneshwar V. Tarwade, Barrie M. Margetts, Ramesh D. Potdar, Caroline H.D. Fall, Sadhana R. Joshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objectives: There are few data on the fatty acid status of non-pregnant Indian women. Our objective was to investigate the effect of a snack containing green leafy vegetables (GLVs) on women's erythrocyte long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid status (LCPUFA).

Methods and Study Design: Non-pregnant women (n=222) aged 14-35 years from Mumbai slums were randomized to consume a snack containing GLVs, fruit and milk (treatment) or a control snack containing foods of low micronutrient content such as potato and onion, daily under observation. One treatment snack contained a mean (SD) of 54.1 (33.7) mg alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and one control snack contained 4.1 (3.4) mg ALA. Blood was collected at baseline (0 weeks) and after 12 weeks of supplementation. Erythrocyte fatty acids were analyzed using gas chromatography and expressed as g/100g fatty acids. Plasma malondialdehyde, homocysteine, and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase were measured. The effect of the treatment on 12 week LCPUFA was assessed using ANCOVA models.

Results: Median (IQR) erythrocyte DHA in the treatment group increased from 1.50 (1.11, 2.03) at baseline to 1.86 (1.50, 2.43) (plt;0.001) at 12 weeks, and fell in controls from 1.78 (1.37, 2.32) to 1.60 (1.32, 2.04) (plt;0.001). The total n-3 fatty acids increased in the treatment group. There was no effect on malondialdehyde and antioxidant enzyme levels. Plasma homocysteine at 0 and 12 weeks was inversely associated with erythrocyte DHA at 12 weeks.

Conclusion: Daily consumption of a snack containing GLV improved women's erythrocyte DHA levels without increasing oxidative stress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)804-817
Number of pages14
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • alpha-linolenic acid
  • erythrocyte
  • docosahexaenoic acid
  • green leafy vegetables
  • , intervention study


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