Breast Milk DHA Testing
During infancy, DHA derived from breast milk is an essential nutrient found in high concentrations in the brain and retina (eye) where it supports optimal cognitive and visual functioning, respectively, along with other health benefits for the infant.
The Importance of Testing
During pregnancy, DHA is transferred from mother to fetus. Studies have shown that by increasing maternal DHA Omega-3 intakes through diet and supplementation the concentration of DHA in the unborn infant increases, supporting healthy brain, eye and immune system development and potentially reducing the likelihood of early preterm birth. (Preterm birth defined as delivery before 37 weeks of gestation.)
During infancy, DHA is derived from breast milk as an essential nutrient found in high concentrations in the brain and retina (eye) where it supports optimal cognitive and visual functioning, respectively, along with other health benefits for the infant.
Published population studies have shown that higher levels of DHA omega-3 in breast milk have been associated with better performance in neurobehavioral functioning and visual acuity amongst infants.1, 2
- Jorgensen et al., J. Pediatric. Gastro. and Nutr., 32: 293-296 (2001)
- Hart et al., J. Pediatric . Psych., 31: 221-226 (2006)
This method determines the fatty acid composition (including DHA) of breast milk in relative (area %) values using a bonded polyglycol liquid phase in a flexible fused silica capillary column. The esterification of these fatty acids to fatty acid methyl esters is performed using an alkylation derivatization reagent. Methyl esters offer excellent stability and provide quick and quantitative samples for GC analysis. GC analysis provides a comprehensive profile that allows practitioners to accurately assess the content and profile of fatty acids in their oil product. Fatty acids are extracted in the presence of the internal standard using a priority solvent mixture. The fatty acid methyl esters are transmethylated. The resulting fatty acid methyl esters are then analyzed on an Agilent 7890B gas-liquid chromatograph with a 60-m DB-23 capillary column (0.32 mm internal diameter) against their internal standard. Data is reported in % fatty acid methyl ester by weight.
Results You and Your Clients Can Understand
The OmegaScore® Breast Milk report is not intended as a medical report or medical advice from Lipid Analytical Laboratory, LLC. It is solely a measurement and calculation of various fatty acids based on the samples provided. “Risk Levels” are intended as reference of measurement compared to recent academic research studies.
Results will show patient numbers compared to averages and optimal levels, allowing for the correction of any deficiencies through diet and/or supplementation.
Re-testing thereafter (normally 3-4 weeks later) can be done to confirm that the recommended levels have been reached.