AbstractTotal fat content and therefore total energy content and the content of essential fatty acids (EFAs) in milk are known to decline with prolonged breast feeding. In a placebo-controlled study a variety of evening primrose oil (Efamol) rich in linoleic and gamma-linolenic acids, or a matching placebo were given to 39 women for a period of 8 months starting between the 2nd and 6th months of lactation. Total fat and EFA contents of the milk declined in the placebo group but rose in the primrose oil supplemented group. A surprisingly high proportion of the supplemented dietary fatty acids could be accounted for by appearance in the milk. The milk composition can be readily manipulated by changing the fatty acid composition of the maternal diet.
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