Last update Nov. 4, 2022
Very Low Risk
Omega-3 fatty acids are long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids containing 18 to 22 carbon atoms. They are essential fatty acids that must be obtained from the diet, mainly from marine fish. They are part of cell membranes.
The main dietary omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Others are: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), moroctic acid, eicosatetraenoic acid, heneicosapentaenoic acid, and clupanodonic acid. Linolenic acid is also found in some vegetables and is partly metabolized into EPA and DHA.
They have lipid-lowering action by reducing plasma triglycerides, anti-inflammatory action and antiplatelet effect. They are used in severe hypertriglyceridemia, for secondary prevention after myocardial infarction, in parenteral nutrition, and as dietary supplements.
Since the last update we have not found published data on its excretion in breastmilk.
DHA is a common lipid in human milk. There is a good correlation between breast milk levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially DHA, and levels in the mother's diet. (Bravi 2021, Bzikowska 2017)
DHA is essential for the growth and development of the central nervous system and the retina, which contain high amounts of DHA. Accumulation of DHA in the brain is most rapid during the last trimester of pregnancy and the first year of life. (Hale, Marangoni 2016)
No significant association was found between maternal DHA/EPA supplementation and infant cognitive performance. (Lehner 2021, Duttaroy 2021)
It is recommended that breastfeeding women take an average of 200-300 mg per day of omega-3s, which is equivalent to consuming 1-2 portions (150-300 g) of fish per week. (DGA 2020 and 2010, Vanice 2014, AAP 2012)
We do not have alternatives for Omega-3 Fatty Acids (DHA, EPA, ALA) since it is relatively safe.
Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.
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e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine - 2012 of United States of America
Would you like to recommend the use of e-lactancia? Write to us at corporate mail of APILAM