Fat-Soluble Vitamins in the Maternal Diet, Influence of Cod Liver Oil Supplementation and Impact of the Maternal Diet on Human Milk CompositionOlafsdottir A.S.a,b · Wagner K.-H.b · Thorsdottir I.a · Elmadfa I.b
aUnit for Nutrition Research, Landspitali-University Hospital and Department of Food Science, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland; bInstitute of Nutritional Sciences, University of Vienna, Austria
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Background/Aims: To investigate lactating mothers’ intake of fat-soluble vitamins in free-living subjects and to what extent cod liver oil supplementation influences the maternal intake in a population with common intake of cod liver oil. The impact of maternal diet on the concentration of fat-soluble vitamins in human milk was studied. Methods: Dietary intake of 77 lactating women was investigated by 24-hour diet recalls and breast-milk samples were taken at the same occasions. Breast milk samples were analyzed for fat-soluble vitamins. Results: The median intakes were 927 µg/day for vitamin A, 5.5 mg/day for vitamin E and 3.3 µg/day for vitamin D. Maternal vitamin A, E and D intakes were higher when the diet was supplemented with cod liver oil. Icelandic breast milk was found to have high contents of vitamin A and E. Only vitamin D was too low in breast milk to meet the recommended intake for infants. Retinylpalmitate in relation to lipids correlated with maternal vitamin A intake (r = 0.23, p < 0.05). The group with cod liver oil supplementation had significantly lower levels of γ-tocopherol in breast milk (p < 0.01), whereas the supplementation did not affect other fat-soluble vitamins. Conclusion: The recommended intake of fat-soluble vitamins for lactating women can more easily be met with a cod liver oil supplementation than diet alone. Only vitamin D in human milk cannot meet the recommended intakes for infants, with normal breastfeeding. There is a relationship between the content of vitamins A and E in human milk and the maternal diet.
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