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Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2015 Apr;95:71-8. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2014.12.002. Epub 2014 Dec 12.

Breast milk from women living near Lake Malawi is high in docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid.

Author information

1
Departments of Individual, Family and Community Education and Family and Community Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA.
2
Department of Community Health, College of Medicine, University of Malawi, Blantyre, Malawi; Department of International Health, University of Tampere School of Medicine, Tampere, Finland; Department of Paediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
3
Department of International Health, University of Tampere School of Medicine, Tampere, Finland; Department of Paediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
4
Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota and OmegaQuant Analytics, LLC, Sioux Falls, SD, USA(1).
5
Department of Community Health, College of Medicine, University of Malawi, Blantyre, Malawi.
6
Department of Nutrition and Program in International and Community Nutrition, University of California, Davis, CA, USA. Electronic address: kgdewey@ucdavis.edu.

Abstract

Adequate long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) intake is critical during the fetal and infant periods. We quantified fatty acid content of breast milk (n=718) and plasma from six month old infants (n=412) in southern Malawi, and in usipa (n=3), a small dried fish from Lake Malawi. Compared to global norms, Malawian breast milk fatty acid content (% of total fatty acids) was well above average levels of arachidonic acid [ARA] (0.69% vs. 0.47%) and docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] (0.73% vs. 0.32%). Average Malawian infant plasma ARA (7.5%) and DHA (3.8%) levels were comparable to those reported in infants consuming breast milk with similar fatty acid content. The amounts (mg) of DHA, EPA and ARA provided by a 3 oz (85 g) portion of dried usipa (1439, 659 and 360, respectively) are considerably higher than those for dried salmon. Usipa may be an important source of LCPUFA for populations in this region.

KEYWORDS:

Breast milk; DHA; Fish; Infant; LCPUFA; Maternal

PMID:
25601798
DOI:
10.1016/j.plefa.2014.12.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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