Document Detail

Maternal breast milk long-chain n-3 fatty acids are associated with increased risk of atopy in breastfed infants.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14987297     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Australia has one of the highest prevalence rates internationally of allergic conditions, such as asthma and eczema. Atopy is one hallmark for the development of allergic disease and predisposes to allergic inflammation in the target organs. omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids (FAs) are thought to act as precursors to the formation of less active inflammatory mediators, with the potential to reduce inflammation. OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether increased n-3 FA levels in maternal breast milk are associated with a lower risk of developing atopy in infancy. METHODS: Subjects were part of the prospective Melbourne atopy cohort study, which involved 620 children born into families where at least one first-degree relative had an atopic disease. Some 224 women (mean age 31.4+/-4.2 (SD) years, with 73.2% (n=164) having self-reported atopy) provided either a colostrum (n=194) or 3-month expressed breast milk (EBM) sample (n=118). Maternal colostrum and 3-month EBM samples were analysed for FA content by gas chromatography. Skin prick tests (SPTs) to six common allergens were performed on infants at 6, 12 and 24 months of age and on mothers who agreed at study entry. RESULTS: For infants sensitized to foods at 6 months (n=29), the total n-3 FA level in the colostrum was significantly higher (P=0.004) as were levels of individual long-chain n-3 FAs, docosoapentaenoic acid (DPA, C22:5, P=0.001) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6, P=0.002) than in non-sensitized infants. Infants with aero-allergen sensitization at 24 months (n=30) had higher levels of the n-3 FA, DPA (P=0.002) and DHA (P=0.007), and similarly higher total n-3 FA (P=0.009) in maternal colostrum than those infants who were not sensitized. CONCLUSION: Higher n-3 FA levels in the colostrum do not appear to confer protection against, but may be a risk factor for, the eventual development of atopy in high-risk breastfed infants.
R M Stoney; R K Woods; C S Hosking; D J Hill; M J Abramson; F C K Thien
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinical and experimental allergy : journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology     Volume:  34     ISSN:  0954-7894     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin. Exp. Allergy     Publication Date:  2004 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-02-27     Completed Date:  2004-05-28     Revised Date:  2008-10-06    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8906443     Medline TA:  Clin Exp Allergy     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  194-200     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Nutrition, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Breast Feeding*
Colostrum / chemistry*
Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*,  analysis
Hypersensitivity / diagnosis,  immunology*
Infant, Newborn
Linear Models
Milk, Human / chemistry
Prospective Studies
Skin Tests
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Fatty Acids, Omega-3
Erratum In:
Clin Exp Allergy. 2007 Dec;37(12):1895   [PMID:  18028101 ]

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