Early docosahexaenoic acid supplementation of mothers during lactation leads to high plasma concentrations in very preterm infants.

Département de pédiatrie, Centre Hosipitalier de l'Université Laval, Québec, Canada.
Journal of Nutrition (Impact Factor: 4.23). 02/2011; 141(2):231-6. DOI: 10.3945/jn.110.125880
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Very preterm infants are vulnerable to deficiency in DHA. In a longitudinal study, 10 mothers who delivered ≤29 wk gestation and planned to breast-feed received DHA (1200 mg/d) until 36 wk after conception. The plasma DHA status was assessed in their 12 infants (including 2 pairs of twins) from birth to d 49. Fatty acid profiles were measured weekly in breast milk, and in plasma of mothers and infants at baseline and at d15 and 49. Plasma and breast milk fatty acid concentrations in the DHA-supplemented group at d 49 were compared with a reference group of very preterm infants (n = 24, including triplets) whose mothers (n = 22) did not receive DHA during lactation. The infants' plasma DHA concentration tended to be greater in the DHA group than in the reference group (P = 0.10) and was greater when expressed as a percentage of total fatty acids (P = 0.009). At d 49, maternal milk DHA in the DHA group (1.92 ± 1.10 mmol/L) was ~12 times higher than in the reference group (0.15 ± 0.27 mmol/L) (P < 0.001). The amount of DHA provided to the infants increased from wk 1 through wk 7 in the DHA group (P < 0.001). Although enteral intake at wk 7 did not differ between the DHA group [119 ± 51 mL/(kg·d)] and the reference group [113 ± 66 mL/(kg·d)], DHA group infants received 55 ± 38 mg/(kg·d) of DHA, and the reference group infants received 7 ± 11 mg/(kg·d) (P < 0.001). Early supplementation with DHA to lactating mothers with low dietary DHA intake successfully increased the plasma DHA status in very preterm infants.

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    ABSTRACT: We report the fatty acid composition of mother's own human milk from one of the largest US cohorts of lactating mothers of preterm infants. Milk fatty acid data were used as a proxy for intake at enrollment in infants (n=150) who received human milk with a powder human milk fortifier (HMF; Control) or liquid HMF [LHMF; provided additional 12 mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), 20 mg arachidonic acid (ARA)/100 mL human milk). Mothers provided milk samples (n=129) and reported maternal DHA consumption (n=128). Infant blood samples were drawn at study completion (Day 28). Human milk and infant PPL fatty acids were analyzed using capillary column gas chromatography. DHA and ARA were within ranges previously published for US term and preterm human milk. Compared to Control HMF (providing no DHA or ARA), human milk fortified with LHMF significantly increased infant PPL DHA and ARA and improved preterm infant DHA and ARA status.
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