N-3 and n-6 fatty acid delivery into human milk in the first month postpartum

Relationship between polyunsaturated fatty acid levels in maternal diets and human milk in the first month post-partum

Liu et al., JHND Early View


The present study evaluated the relationship between dietary fatty acid (FA) intakes and human milk FA levels.


Healthy lactating women (n = 514) from Northern China participated in the study. Dietary intake was assessed with a 24-h dietary recall questionnaire and evaluated using golden key maternal nutrition software (Wincome, Shanghai, China) and China Food Composition2009. Human milk FA composition was determined by gas chromatography.


The maternal daily median intakes of linoleic acid (LA), α-linolenic acid (ALA) and arachidonic acid (AA) were 19.93 g, 3.08 g and 16.33 mg, respectively. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) intakes were below the recommended levels. FA levels in 100 g of human milk were 0.363 g LA, 0.038 g γ-linolenic acid (GLA), 0.052 g dihomo γ-linolenic acid (DGLA), 0.144 g ALA, 0.079 g AA, 0.007 g EPA, 0.018 g docosatetraenoic acid (DTA) and 0.048 g DHA. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that human milk DGLA levels were negatively correlated with dietary LA intake (β = −0.223, P = 0.030), and human milk GLA and DTA levels were negatively correlated with dietary ALA intake (β = −2.189, P = 0.031; β = −2.252, P = 0.027) after adjusting for possible confounding factors.


The results of the present study suggest the presence of competitive interactions between n-3 fatty acids (ALA) and n-6 fatty acids (GLA and DTA).

Calling student dietitians everywhere!

Calling all student dietitians

Student dietitians all over the world!

For those who are 1st years, then welcome to the start of you career in dietetics. For are in 2nd, 3rd or 4th years then we hope your studies and placements have gone well.

Evidence-based practice is essential to being a successful student and a successful dietitian. Therefore keeping up to date with newly published research, systematic reviews and clinical guidelines is essential.

The Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics is the official journal of the British Dietetic Association and is an international peer-reviewed journal publishing papers in applied nutrition and dietetics. A new issue is published every 2 months and we encourage you to read this journal regularly.

The journal can be accessed here:

You can register to receive an email alerting you when a new issue is published every two months, details are here:

In addition, the editor regularly published a blog, details of which are here:

You can also follow the editor on twitter, including details of new research papers and discussions in dietetics:

Good luck in your studies.

Prof Simon Langley-Evans
University of Nottingham

Cravings in pregnancy: Do they impact upon nutritional status?

Nutritional and clinical associations of food cravings in pregnancy

Hill et al., JHND Early View


Cravings in pregnancy are considered to alter dietary intake; however, the nutritional consequences are unknown. The present study aimed to investigate the prevalence of food cravings in pregnancy, and their contribution, as a potentially modifiable determinant of weight gain and the development of obesity in pregnancy.


Healthy pregnant women were participants in the Belfast cohort of the Hyperglycaemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome study (HAPO), a prospective observational study examining maternal glycaemia and pregnancy outcome. Diet was assessed at an average of 29 weeks of gestation using a self-administered validated food frequency questionnaire over the previous 2 weeks that included questions on food cravings experienced at any time during pregnancy. Clinical measurements collected included, height, weight, blood glucose and neonatal outcomes. Mean daily nutrient intakes were analysed with appropriate software.


Food cravings were reported by 39% (n = 635) of women, with sweet foods, fruit and dairy products most frequently consumed. Those who craved foods had a higher mean (SD) energy intake [9721 (3016) kJ] (P = 0.002) even when under-reporters were removed [10131 (2875) kJ] (P = 0.008). However, no differences were found in nutrient or food intake between groups when adjusted for energy. Similarly, no differences were observed between groups and glycaemic control, anthropometric measurements or offspring outcome measures.


Cravings commonly occur in pregnancy and contributed to a small increase in energy intake; however, this did not impact on overall dietary intake, nor was it associated with excessive gestational weight gain, maternal glycaemia or offspring outcome measurements.

New issue out now!!


The September/October issue of JHND (Vol 28, issue 5) is now available. The running order is as follows:


Fluid intake from beverages across age groups: a systematic review.

Ozen et al.,

Relationships between dietary intakes of children and their parents: a cross-sectional, secondary analysis of families participating in the Family Diet Quality Study.


Dairy product consumption, dietary nutrient and energy density and associations with obesity in Australian adolescents

Nutrient Intake among US Adults with Disabilities

An et al.


The effects of a diet rich in inulin or wheat fibre on markers of cardiovascular disease in overweight male subjects

Tripovic et al.

Sex and Age-Related Differences in Perceived, Desired and Measured Percent Body Fat Among Adults

Campisi et al.,


An investigation into the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) of dietitians working in acute care caseloads: Are we doing enough to look after our own?

Osland et al.

A Cross-Sectional Exploration of the Personality Traits of Dietitians

Ball et al.,

Investigating the use of the neutropenic diet: A survey of UK dietitians

Carr & Halliday