Investigation of Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Metabolism in Lactating Women by Means of Stable Isotope Techniques

  • H. Demmelmair
  • M. Baumheuer
  • B. Koletzko
  • K. Dokoupil
  • G. Kratl
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 501)


Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids are important components of human milk that seem to influence infant development. After oral administration of U-13Clabeled linoleic acid to a lactating woman the recovery of tracer in milk linoleic acid was 6.4%, whereas tracer recovery in dihomo-y-linolenic acid (DGLA) was 0.3% and in arachidonic acid (AA), <0.01%. Some 14.9% of linoleic acid intake was converted to breath-CO2. In combination with data on dietary intake and quantitative milk output, we estimate that 23% of milk linoleic acid, 7% of milk dihomo-y-linolenic acids and 0.5% of milk arachidonic acid were contributed by direct endogenous conversion and transfer from dietary linoleic acid. These findings lead us to conclude that long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids for human milk synthesis are produced in the body, but either a relatively low percentage is contributed under these dietary conditions, or there are large body pools for intermediate storage of these fatty acids that are utilized for secretion into milk


Linoleic Acid Human Milk Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry Tracer Recovery Milk Fatty Acid 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Demmelmair
    • 1
  • M. Baumheuer
    • 1
  • B. Koletzko
    • 1
  • K. Dokoupil
  • G. Kratl
    • 1
  1. 1.Dr. von Haunersches Children’s HospitalLudwig Maximilians University MunichMunichGermany

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