A study on lipid content and fatty acid of breast milk and association with mother’s diet composition

Roya Kelishadi, Bagher Hadi, Ramin Iranpour, Kianoush Khosravi-Darani, Parisa Mirmoghtadaee, Sanam Farajian, Parinaz Poursafa


  • INTRODUCTION: The aim of our study was to determine the content of fat and fatty acid composition of breast milk and the association with the mother’s diet.
  • MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted among pregnant mothers who came to health care centers for last prenatal care in Isfahan, Iran. Eight to 72 hours after delivery, 2 to 5 ml of colostrum was collected by hand into tubes. They were kept in an ice box and sent within half an hour to the collaborating health centre for freezing at -20°C until analysis, which was performed at the laboratory of NNFTRI in Tehran. The milk samples were homogenized by Vortex (Heidolph Vortex Shaker REAX 1. 220 V. 30 W Germany) at 2400 rpm for 30 sec.
  • RESULTS: The data of 86 out of 91 samples were complete. The mean maternal age and gestational age was 28.37 ± 5.55 years old and 38.7 ± 1.2 weeks, respectively. The content of fat was 2.17 ± 1.22 g/100 ml breast milk. Arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4n-6) and docosohexaanoic acid DHA (22:6n-3) made 0.8 ± 0.4% and 0.3 ± 0.2% of total fatty acids. Although the AA/DHA ratio in our study is suitable, but the content of DHA is nearly low.
  • CONCLUSION: Dietary habits of women in reproductive age group should be improved, with special emphasis on the fatty acid content of breast milk. This may have long-term impact on health promotion and disease prevention.
  • Key words: Breast milk, fatty acid, Iran, neonate, pregnancy

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