Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: Breast milk DHA levels in Sri Lankan mothers vary significantly in three locations that have...

Download

A- A+
Alt. Display

Papers

Breast milk DHA levels in Sri Lankan mothers vary significantly in three locations that have different access to dietary fish

Authors:

PS Lee ,

Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ
X close

VP Wickramasinghe,

Department of Paediatrics, University of Colombo, LK
X close

SP Lamabadusuriya,

Department of Paediatrics, University of Colombo, LK
X close

AW Duncan,

Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ
X close

G Wainscott,

Mead Johnson Nutrition, Asia-Pacific Regional Office, SG
X close

JDSK Weeeraman,

Department of Paediatrics, Teaching Hospital, Matara, LK
X close

ASB Wijekoon,

Department of Paediatrics, University of Peradeniya, LK
X close

KH Wong

Mead Johnson Nutrition, Asia-Pacific Regional Office, SG
X close

Abstract

Introduction Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) notably docosahexaenoeic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA) are important for the optimum growth and development of the infant. DHA and ARA levels in breast-milk are thought to be influenced both by direct nutritional intake, and by the genetic variation of the FA desaturase enzymes.

Objectives To assess the fatty acid distribution in mothers’ milk and their babies’ blood, in three areas of Sri Lanka, with different access to sea-fish, and to see how the availability of dietary fish would affect fatty acid levels.

Methods 6-12 week-old mother-baby pairs were recruited and mother’s dietary intake assessed. Packed RBC from infants and breast milk (BM) from mothers were transported on dry ice to the Nutrition Laboratory, University of Otago, New Zealand for fatty acids extraction and quantification.

Results We studied 136 mothers in three locations in Sri Lanka – Matara, Colombo, and Kandy. The breastmilk DHA levels were high in all three locations (0.79%, 0.53% and 0.37% respectively), and correlated with fish consumption. ARA levels did not vary significantly. In the 119 mother-infant pairs studied, infant erythrocyte DHA levels did not correlate significantly with BM DHA.

Conclusions Even the modest access to sea fish in the most inland site, resulted in BM-DHA levels higher than those found in any infant formula. Higher BM-DHA levels in the two other sites with greater access to fish did not lead to further increase in infant RBC-DHA levels. Where access to sea fish is limited, mothers should be encouraged to actively increase their fish intake as this would improve their DHA status, and also that of their breast milk.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v58i2.5679

Ceylon Medical Journal 2013; 58: 51-55

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v58i2.5679
How to Cite: Lee, P., Wickramasinghe, V., Lamabadusuriya, S., Duncan, A., Wainscott, G., Weeeraman, J., Wijekoon, A. and Wong, K., 2013. Breast milk DHA levels in Sri Lankan mothers vary significantly in three locations that have different access to dietary fish. Ceylon Medical Journal, 58(2), pp.51–55. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v58i2.5679
Published on 22 Jun 2013.
Peer Reviewed

Downloads

  • PDF (EN)

    comments powered by Disqus