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

E. Yakes Jimenez, C. Mangani, P. Ashorn, W. S. Harris, K. Maleta, K. G. Dewey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalProstaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids
Volume95
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

Keywords

  • Breast milk
  • DHA
  • Fish
  • Infant
  • LCPUFA
  • Maternal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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