Can the DHA levels in natural breast milk be increased?
For those who prefer the natural way of breast feeding, increasing DHA-rich foods or supplements during pregnancy and lactation can help increase the DHA content of breast milk. In one study led by Dr. I. Helland at the University of Oslo, Norway, taking 5 to 10 ml of cod liver oil daily increased the EPA and DHA concentrations of breast milk, without increasing arachidonic acid levels. In another, Dr. M. Makrides at the Flinders Medical Center, Australia, reported supplements providing from 200 mg to 1300 mg DHA per day increased milk DHA levels accordingly. The more DHA the mother intakes, the higher the DHA levels were found in her milk. The Australian group also found that the increase of DHA in breast milk is effectively passed on to the infant, but after the DHA concentration rises past 0.8% of the total fatty acids in the milk, the infant does not seem to benefit in any extra way.
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