It has been shown that maternal food intake determines the levels of unsaturated fatty acids that are present in human milk. This case study compares the human milk lipid profiles the first two weeks of lactation from women consuming three food patterns: vegan, standard American diet, and Asian. Participants were matched for demographics. The milk samples were analyzed using gas chromatography to determine the lipid profile for each participant. The lipid profiles differed by food pattern (p<0.007). Linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid levels were highest for the vegan food pattern. The ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids were well above the suggested ratio considered to be optimal with the vegan pattern had the lowest omega-6 to omega-3 ratio and the highest level of docosahexaenoic acid, possibly indicating conversion of alpha-linoleic acid to docosahexaenoic acid. Further research is needed to determine the impact this may have on long-term infant health.


This article is originally published in the Journal of Nutritional Health & Food Engineering, under a Creative Commons 4.0 License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. DOI: 10.15406/jnhfe.2018.08.00311



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Dickton D, Francis J. Case review: food pattern effects on milk lipid profiles . J Nutr Health Food Eng. 2018;8(6):467‒470. DOI: 10.15406/jnhfe.2018.08.00311



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