Daily supplementation of maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation with a fish oil-enriched dairy product increases the percentage of DHA and other omega-3 (ω-3) long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) in mothers (placenta, plasma, erythrocyte membranes, and breast milk) and children (plasma and erythrocyte membranes). This supplementation during critical periods such as pregnancy, lactation, and early development of a newborn may influence the levels of certain inflammatory cytokines, reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines and promoting an anti-inflammatory “environment”. In pregnant women who have not received any supplement of omega-3 LCPUFAs, IL-6 plasma levels are higher, while TNF-alpha plasma levels are also higher in their breastfed infant at birth and 2 months thereafter. There could be a relationship between docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and the concentrations of different cytokines.
Part of the book: Maternal and Child Health Matters Around the World