How long does it take for DHA to reach acceptable levels in the breast milk of lactation women?
Clinical trials have shown a marked rise in the DHA level of breast milk within a few days in duration upon DHA supplementation. For example, supplementation with fish oil containing DHA has been found to elevate the level of DHA in breast milk (as percent of total fat) from an initial value of 0.1% up to 0.8% within a one week period. The degree of elevation in a fixed period (e.g. one week) is dependent on the daily intake of DHA since progressively increased intakes result in correspondingly higher levels of DHA in the breast milk. Regarding a so-called acceptable level of DHA in breast milk, an ideal level is still under investigation although clinical trials have shown a better performance on the mental development index and visual acuity in infants consuming an infant formula containing 0.35% of milk fat as DHA as compared to infant formula lacking DHA. A daily intake of 250-300mg of DHA/day during lactation can be expected to elevate the DHA in breast milk to approximately 0.35% of total milk fat within a fairly short time interval.