The effects of maternal omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on breast milk fatty acid composition

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Ay E., Büyükuslu N., Batırel S., Yoldaş İlktaç H. , Garıpağaoğlu M.

Acta Pharmaceutica Sciencia, vol.56, no.2, pp.27-37, 2018 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 56 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.23893/1307-2080.aps.05609
  • Title of Journal : Acta Pharmaceutica Sciencia
  • Page Numbers: pp.27-37


Breast milk is the first source of omega-3 fatty acids (FA) for infants. We hypothesized
that maternal omega-3 FAs supplementation affects the FA composition of
breast milk. Thirtysix women received 950 mg omega-3 polyunsaturated (PUFA)
supplementation per day for 9 months from 22-24 weeks of pregnancy until the 6
months of lactation and 26 women were enrolled as controls. Demographic data
and nutritional status were taken by a questionnaire. Breast milk samples were
collected at just after birth and 6 months of lactation. Fatty acids were analyzed by
gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Data was assessed using SPSS
22.0 software. The supplementation increased the level of docosahexaenoic acid
(DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) while decreased the level of saturated fatty
acids (SFA) in breast milk. The ratio of omega-6/omega-3 FAs was also decreased
in the supplemented mothers’ milk. In conclusion the maternal supplementation
of omega-3 FAs improved the DHA and EPA levels.