This study investigated the effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation on the fatty acid composition of breast milk and plasma concentrations in lactating women and their infants.

Eighty-nine lactating women 4-6 weeks post-partum received placebo, 200mg or 400mg DHA for 6 weeks with usual diets. Breast milk fatty acids and maternal plasma fatty acids were measured at the beginning and end of the study and infant plasma at the end of the study.

Breast milk and maternal plasma DHA were significantly greater with 200mg and 400mg DHA compared with placebo (50% and 123% breast milk p<0.05; 71% and 101% plasma, p<0.0001), respectively. Infant plasma omega 6:3 and arachidonic acid (AA):DHA were significantly greater in the placebo group compared to both supplement groups (67% and 106%; 71% and 116%, respectively, p<0.05).

DHA supplementation impacts infant fatty acids important for brain development and breast milk fatty acid composition.

PMID: 25701002

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