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Breastfeed Med. 2013 Feb;8(1):86-91. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2011.0126. Epub 2012 May 8.

Randomized controlled trial of docosahexaenoic acid supplementation in midwestern U.S. human milk donors.

Author information

1
University of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA. Christina.valentine@cchmc.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid important for neonatal neurodevelopment and immune homeostasis. Preterm infants fed donor milk from a Midwestern source receive only 20% of the intrauterine accretion of DHA. We tested the hypothesis that DHA supplementation of donor mothers would provide preterm infants with DHA intake equivalent to fetal accretion.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

After Institutional Review Board approval and informed consent, human milk donors to the Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio were randomized to receive 1 g of DHA (Martek(®) [now DSM Nutritional Lipids, Columbia, MD]) or placebo soy oil. Dietary intake data were collected and analyzed by a registered dietitian. Fatty acids were measured by gas chromatography/flame ionization detection. Statistical analysis used linear mixed models.

RESULTS:

Twenty-one mothers were randomly assigned to either the DHA group (n=10) or the placebo group (n=11). Donor age was a median of 31 years in both groups with a mean lactational stage of 19 weeks. Dietary intake of DHA at baseline in both groups was a median of 23 mg/day (range, 0-194 mg), significantly (p<0.0001) less than the minimum recommended intake of 200 mg/day. The DHA content of milk increased in the DHA-supplemented group (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

The women enrolled in this study had low dietary DHA intake. Supplementation with preformed DHA at 1 g/day resulted in increased DHA concentrations in the donor milk with no adverse outcomes. Infants fed donor milk from supplemented women receive dietary DHA levels that closely mimic normal intrauterine accretion during the third trimester.

PMID:
22568471
PMCID:
PMC3566653
DOI:
10.1089/bfm.2011.0126
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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