Poster Topical Area: Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 327

P13-069 - Breast milk EPA and infant executive function

Sunday, Jun 10
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Objectives:Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) is an essential fatty acid for nerve system function. Breast milk EPA could reflect infant intake of EPA and maternal status of EPA, which was correlated with postpartum depression (MDD); maternal MDD could affect infant brain function. However, no study has reported the effects of EPA in breast milk on infant brain function. We aimed to investigate the association between EPA and infant brain executive function.

Clinical data and human milk were collected from 375 mothers and their breastfed infants from Beijing at 42nd day after delivery. The level of EPA in breast milk was detected via Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS). Bayley Scale III, AB task, and Planning task were used to evaluate executive function of infants age of 8 month. Linear regression models and restricted cubic spline (RCS) regression were used to evaluate the linear and non-linear association between EPA level in breast milk and infant executive function. 

EPA level was significantly decreased in 8 month breast milk compared with 42-day. Increased breast milk EPA level at 42nd day was significantly associated with decreased distraction score of infants. A strong dose-response effect was observed when the EPA level was lower than median (P=0.027). And increased EPA in 8 month breast milk was significantly associated with decreased infant distractibility (P=0.003).

Breast milk EPA was negatively associated with infant distractibility with a threshold effect. Further research is needed with larger sample size to refining the sensitive threshold in different stage, which might help to determine the requirement level of EPA for infants.

CoAuthors: Ying Gao – Chinese Academy of Sciences

Keyu Jia

Chinese Academy of Science
Shanghai, Shanghai, China (People's Republic)