Human milk arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid contents increase following supplementation during pregnancy and lactation.Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2009 Jan; 80(1):65-9.PL
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) are important for neurodevelopment. Maternal diet influences milk DHA, whereas milk AA seems rather constant. We investigated milk AA, DHA and DHA/AA after supplementation of AA plus DHA, or DHA alone during pregnancy and lactation.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS
Women were supplemented with AA+DHA (220mg each/day), DHA (220mg/day) or placebo during pregnancy and lactation. Milk samples were collected at 2 (n=86) and 12 weeks (n=69) postpartum.
Supplementation of AA+DHA elevated milk AA (week 2, 14%; week 12, 23%) and DHA (43% and 52%) as compared to placebo. DHA tended to decrease milk AA and vice versa. Milk AA, DHA and DHA/AA decreased from 2 to 12 weeks postpartum.
Milk AA and in particular DHA are sensitive to maternal supplementation. It seems that maternal AA and notably DHA status decline with advancing lactation.