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


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.

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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.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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