Lipids

, Volume 27, Issue 11, pp 863–869

Effect of fish oil on the fatty acid composition of human milk and maternal and infant erythrocytes

  • Robin A. Henderson
  • Robert G. Jensen
  • Carol J. Lammi-Keefe
  • Ann M. Ferris
  • Kenneth R. Dardick
Article

Abstract

To examine the effect of fish oil supplementation on the fatty acid (FA) composition of human milk and maternal and infant erythrocytes, five lactating women were supplemented with 6 g of fish oil daily for 21d. Usual maternal diets contained 1,147 mg of total n−3 FA, with 120 mg from very long-chain (>C18) n−3 FA. Supplementation increased dietary levels to 3,092 mg of total n−3 FA and 2,006 mg of very long-chain n−3 FA. Milk samples were collected daily, prior to fish oil ingestion, and at 4-h intervals on days 1, 7, 14 and 21. Milk n−3 FA content increased within 8 h and reached steady state levels within one week. The n−6 fatty acid content decreased. Erythrocyte eicosapentaenoic acid content increased from 0.24% to 1.4% (P<0.01) in mothers and from 0.11% to 0.70% (P<0.05) in infants. Docosapentaenoic acid increased from 1.4% to 2.2% (P<0.05) in mothers and from 0.30% to 0.78% (P<0.01) in infants. There was no significant change in docosahexaenoic acid or n−6 fatty acid content. Maternal platelet aggregation responses were variable. No differences in milk or plasma tocopherol levels were noted.

Abbreviations

ADP

adenosine phosphate

ANOVA

analysis of variance

DHA

docosahexaenoic acid

DPA

docosapentaenoic acid

EPA

eicosapentaenoic acid

FA

fatty acid(s)

GLC

gas-liquid chromatography

HPLC

high-pressure liquid chromatography

P/S

polyunsaturated/saturated ratio

RDA

recommended daily allowance

VLC-PUFA

very long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid(s) (longer than C18)

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Copyright information

© American Oil Chemists’ Society 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robin A. Henderson
    • 2
  • Robert G. Jensen
    • 2
  • Carol J. Lammi-Keefe
    • 2
  • Ann M. Ferris
    • 2
  • Kenneth R. Dardick
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsJohns Hopkins HospitalBaltimore
  2. 2.Department of Nutritional Sciences, U-17University of ConnecticutStorrs
  3. 3.Mansfield Family PracticeMansfield Professional ParkStorrs

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