The influence of maternal ethnic group and diet on breast milk fatty acid composition

Su , Lin Lin, SK, Thamarai Chelvi, Lim, Su Lin, Chen, Yuming, Tan, Elizabeth Ai-Theng, Pai , Namratha Narayan, Gong, Yin-Han, Foo, Janie, Rauff, Mary, & Chong, Yap Seng (2010) The influence of maternal ethnic group and diet on breast milk fatty acid composition. Academy of Medicine, Singapore. Annals, 39(9), pp. 675-679.

View at publisher


INTRODUCTION: Breast milk fatty acids play a major role in infant development. However, no data have compared the breast milk composition of different ethnic groups living in the same environment. We aimed to (i) investigate breast milk fatty acid composition of three ethnic groups in Singapore and (ii) determine dietary fatty acid patterns in these groups and any association with breast milk fatty acid composition. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a prospective study conducted at a tertiary hospital in Singapore. Healthy pregnant women with the intention to breastfeed were recruited. Diet profile was studied using a standard validated 3-day food diary. Breast milk was collected from mothers at 1 to 2 weeks and 6 to 8 weeks postnatally. Agilent gas chromatograph (6870N) equipped with a mass spectrometer (5975) and an automatic liquid sampler (ALS) system with a split mode was used for analysis. RESULTS: Seventy-two breast milk samples were obtained from 52 subjects. Analysis showed that breast milk ETA (Eicosatetraenoic acid) and ETA:EA (Eicosatrienoic acid) ratio were significantly different among the races (P = 0.031 and P = 0.020), with ETA being the highest among Indians and the lowest among Malays. Docosahexaenoic acid was significantly higher among Chinese compared to Indians and Malays. No difference was demonstrated in n3 and n6 levels in the food diet analysis among the 3 ethnic groups. CONCLUSIONS: Differences exist in breast milk fatty acid composition in different ethnic groups in the same region, although no difference was demonstrated in the diet analysis. Factors other than maternal diet may play a role in breast milk fatty acid composition.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 43704
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Docosahexaenoic acid, Ethnicity, Diet, Breastfeeding, OAVJ
ISSN: 0304-4602 (print)
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Academy of Medicine Singapore
Deposited On: 27 Jul 2011 22:39
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2011 01:16

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page