Food and Behaviour Research

Donate Log In

Critical Brain Nutrients: Mental Health Harms from Dietary Advice - and Potential Solutions - BOOK HERE

Docosahexaenoic acid supplementation in lactating women increases breast milk and plasma docosahexaenoic acid concentrations and alters infant omega 6:3 fatty acid ratio.

Sherry CL, Oliver JS, Marriage BJ (2015) Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 95 63 - 69 Elsevier Ltd

Web URL: Please find the OPEN ACCESS paper and related research on PubMed here


  This study investigated the effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation on the fatty acid composition of breast milk and plasmaconcentrations in lactating women and their infants.

lactating women 4-6 weeks post-partum received placebo, 200mg or 400mg DHA for 6 weeks with usual diets. 
Breast milk fatty acids and maternal plasma fatty acids were measured at the beginning and end of the study and infantplasma at the end of the study. 

Breast milk and maternal plasma DHA were significantly greater with 200mg and 400mg DHA compared with placebo (50% and 123% breast milk p<0.05; 71% and 101% plasma, p<0.0001), respectively. 

Infant plasma omega 6:3 and arachidonic acid (AA):DHA were significantly greater in the placebo group compared to both supplement groups (67% and 106%; 71% and 116%, respectively, p<0.05).

supplementation impacts infant fatty acids important for brain development and breast milk fatty acid composition.