Share This Article:

Docosahexaenoic Acid in Breast Milk Reflects Maternal Fish Intake in Iranian Mothers

Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:193KB) PP. 441-446
DOI: 10.4236/fns.2012.34063    3,202 Downloads   5,574 Views   Citations


To estimate essential fatty acid (FA) and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) concentrations in early breast milk (BM) in relation to habitual fish intake. BM was collected within 72-hours after delivery from consecutively included mothers, 60 in Guilan (coastal) and 60 in Kermanshah (inland) provinces. Mothers were interviewed to com-plete a food frequency questionnaire. The FA composition was measured with gas chromatography. Mothers in the coastal area had higher intake of fish/seafood. Consumption of saturated fat was higher in Kermanshah and olive intake was higher in Guilan. High fish/seafood intake was associated with higher docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and lower arachidonic acid (AA)/DHA ratio in BM. There were no differences in linoleic and α-linolenic acid concentrations in BM between the provinces. N-3 FA and DHA concentration were significantly higher in Guilan than Kermanshah, but total n-6 FAs and AA did not differ and were high in both provinces. The ratios of total n-6/n-3 and AA/DHA in BM of mothers from Guilan were significantly lower than those in Kermanshah. The LCPUFA status in BM in two Iranian provinces was generally good and DHA was higher and the AA/DHA was significantly lower in mothers with high fish intake.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

B. Olang, M. Hajifaraji, M. Ali, S. Hellstrand, M. Palesh, E. Azadnyia, Z. Kamali, B. Strandvik and A. Yngve, "Docosahexaenoic Acid in Breast Milk Reflects Maternal Fish Intake in Iranian Mothers," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2012, pp. 441-446. doi: 10.4236/fns.2012.34063.


[1] S. M. Innis, “Dietary Omega 3 Fatty Acids and the Developing Brain,” Brain Research, Vol. 87, No. 3, 2008, pp. 35-43. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2008.08.078
[2] E. Larque, H. Demmelmair and B. Koletzko, “Perinatal Supply and Metabolism of Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Importance for the Early Development of the Nervous System,” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 967, No. 1, 2002, pp. 299-310. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2002.tb04285.x
[3] M. Fleith and M. T. Clandinin, “Dietary PUFA for Preterm and Term Infants: Review of Clinical Studies,” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Vol. 45, No. 3, 2005, pp. 205-229. doi:10.1080/10408690590956378
[4] M. Makrides, “Outcomes for Mothers and Their Babies: Do n-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Seafoods Make a Difference?” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Vol. 108, No. 10, 2008, pp. 1622-1626. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2008.07.003
[5] M. D. Al, A. C. van Houwelingen and G. Hornstra, “LongChain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, Pregnancy, and Pregnancy Outcome,” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 71, 2000, pp. 285S-291S.
[6] E. Herrera, E. Amusquivar, I. Lopez-Soldado and H. Ortega, “Maternal Lipid Metabolism and Placental Lipid Transfer,” Hormone Research, Vol. 65, No. 3, 2006, pp. 59-64. doi:10.1159/000091507
[7] M. P. Bonham, E. M. Duffy, J. M. Wallace, P. J. Robson, et al., “Habitual Fish Consumption does not Prevent a Decrease in LCPUFA Status in Pregnant Women (the Seychelles Child Development Nutrition Study),” Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, Vol. 78, No. 6, 2008, pp. 343-350. doi:10.1016/j.plefa.2008.04.005
[8] J. T. Brenna, B. Varamini, R. G. Jensen, D. A. DiersenSchade, J. A. Boettcher and L. M. Arterburn, “Docosahexaenoic and Arachidonic Acid Concentrations in Human Breast Milk Worldwide,” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 85, No. 6, 2007, pp. 1457-1464.
[9] W. S. Harris, W. E. Connor and S. Lindsey, “Will Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acids Change the Composition of Human Milk?” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 40, No. 4, 1984, pp. 780-785.
[10] A. A. Welch, S. Shakya-Shrestha, M. A. Lentjes, N. J. Wareham and K. T. Khaw, “Dietary Intake and Status of n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in a Population of Fish-Eating and Non-Fish-Eating Meat-Eaters, Vegetarians, and Vegans and the Precursor-Product Ratio of Alpha-Linolenic Acid to Long-Chain n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Results from the EPIC-Norfolk Cohort,” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 92, No. 5, 2010, pp. 1040-1051.
[11] P. Guesnet, C. Alasnier, J. M. Alessandri and G. Durand, “Modifying the n-3 Fatty Acid Content of the Maternal Diet to Determine the Requirements of the Fetal and Suckling Rat,” Lipids, Vol. 32, No. 5, 1997, pp. 527-534. doi:10.1007/s11745-997-0067-3
[12] A. P. Simopoulos, “Commentary on the Workshop Statement. Essentiality of and Recommended Dietary Intakes for Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids,” Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, Vol. 63, No. 3, 2000, pp. 123-124. doi:10.1054/plef.2000.0177
[13] K. G. Sabel, C. Lundqvist-Persson, E. Bona, M. Petzold and B. Strandvik, “Fatty Acid Patterns Early after Premature Birth, Simultaneously Analysed in Mothers’ Food, Breast Milk and Serum Phospholipids of Mothers and Infants,” Lipids in Health and Disease, Vol. 8, No. 20, 2009, p. 20. doi:10.1186/1476-511X-8-20
[14] J. R. Hibbeln, J. M. Davis, C. Steer, P. Emmett, et al., “Maternal Seafood Consumption in Pregnancy and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Childhood (ALSPAC Study): An Observational Cohort Study,” Lancet, Vol. 369, No. 9561, 2007, pp. 578-585. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60277-3
[15] B. Koletzko, E. Lien, C. Agostoni, H. Bohles, et al., “The Roles of Long-chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Pregnancy, Lactation and Infancy: Review of Current Knowledge and Consensus Recommendations,” Journal of Perinatal Medicine, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2008, pp. 5-14. doi:10.1515/JPM.2008.001
[16] S. A. van Goor, D. A. Dijck-Brouwer, J. J. Erwich, A. Schaafsma and M. Hadders-Algra, “The Influence of Supplemental Docosahexaenoic and Arachidonic Acids During Pregnancy and Lactation on Neurodevelopment at Eighteen Months,” Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, Vol. 84, 2011, pp. 139-146. doi:10.1016/j.plefa.2011.01.002
[17] A. Lapillonne and S. E. Carlson, “Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Infant Growth,” Lipids, Vol. 36, No. 9, 2001, pp. 901-911. doi:10.1007/s11745-001-0800-y
[18] A. Djazayery and S. Jazayery, “ω-3 Fatty Acids in Physical and Maternal Health and Disease,” In: F. Meester and R. R. Watson, Eds., Wild-Type Food in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention: The Columbus Concept, Humana Press Inc., New Jersey, 2008, p. 309.
[19] Fishery and Aquaculture Country Profiles, 2010.
[20] G. Bahrami and Z. Rahimi, “Fatty Acid Composition of Human Milk in Western Iran,” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 59, No. 4, 2005, pp. 494-497.
[21] N. Fidler and B. Koletzko, “The Fatty Acid Composition of Human Colostrum,” European Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2000, pp. 31-37. doi:10.1007/s003940050073
[22] Food and Agricultural Commodities Production, 2008.
[23] Y. Y. Al-Tamer and A. A. Mahmood, “Fatty-Acid Composition of the Colostrum and Serum of Fullterm and Preterm Delivering Iraqi Mothers,” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 58, No. 8, 2004, pp. 1119-1124. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601939
[24] S. M. Innis and H. V. Kuhnlein, “Long-Chain n-3 Fatty Acids in Breast Milk of Inuit Women Consuming Traditional Foods,” Early Human Development, Vol. 18, 1988, pp. 185-189. doi:10.1016/0378-3782(88)90055-2
[25] J. A. Dunstan, L. R. Mitoulas, G. Dixon, D. A. Doherty, et al., “The Effects of Fish Oil Supplementation in Pregnancy on Breast Milk Fatty Acid Composition over the Course of Lactation: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” Pediatric Research, Vol. 62, No. 6, 2007, pp. 689-694. doi:10.1203/PDR.0b013e318159a93a
[26] M. D. Al, A. C. van Houwelingen and G. Hornstra, “Relation Between Birth Order and the Maternal and Neonatal Docosahexaenoic Acid Status,” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 51, No. 8, 1997, pp. 548-553. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1600444
[27] S. Sampels, B. Strandvik and J. Pickova, “Processed Animal Products with Emphasis on Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Content,” European Journal of Lipid Sciences and Technology, Vol. 111, No. 5, 2009, pp. 481-488. doi:10.1002/ejlt.200800192
[28] Y. Y. Al-Tamer and A. A. Mahmood, “The Influence of Iraqi Mothers’ Socioeconomic Status on Their Milk-Lipid Content,” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 60, No. 12, 2006, pp. 1400-1405. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602470
[29] B. Koletzko, E. Lattka, S. Zeilinger, T. Illig and C. Steer, “Genetic Variants of the Fatty Acid Desaturase Gene Cluster Predict Amounts of Red Blood Cell Docosahexaenoic and other Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Pregnant Women: Findings from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children,” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 93, No. 1, 2011, pp. 211-219.
[30] M. van Eijsden, G. Hornstra, M. F. van der Wal and G. J. Bonsel, “Ethnic Differences in Early Pregnancy Maternal n-3 and n-6 Fatty Acid Concentrations: An Explorative Analysis,” British Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 101, No. 12, 2009, pp. 1761-1768. doi:10.1017/S0007114508123455

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.