Breastfed individuals have a lower blood pressure than formula-fed individuals. Supplementation with n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in adults is also associated with a lower blood pressure. We studied whether children receiving human milk with a relatively high content of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids have a lower blood pressure at age 12 years, and, if so, whether this association is explained by the n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids content in erythrocyte membranes at age 12 years. Within a 12-year follow-up of a population-based birth cohort, we compared blood pressure of 205 never-breastfed children and 109 children who had fatty acid composition of their mothers' breast milk measured during lactation. In addition, 973 children had information on erythrocyte fatty acid composition and blood pressure at age 12 years. Children who received human milk with an n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids content above the median (ie, 0.51 weight percentage) had a 4.79-mm Hg lower systolic (95% CI, -7.64 to -1.94) and a 2.47-mm Hg lower diastolic (95% CI, -4.45 to -0.49) blood pressure at age 12 years than never-breastfed children. N-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids levels in human milk below the median value and current n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid status were not associated with blood pressure at age 12 years. Thus, a relatively high content of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in human milk is associated with a lower blood pressure in children at age 12 years, a finding not explained by current n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids status.

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doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.112.197830, hdl.handle.net/1765/37398
Hypertension
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Rossem, L, Wijga, A.H, de Jongste, J.C, Koppelman, G.H, Oldenwening, M, Postma, D.S, … Smit, H.A. (2012). Blood pressure in 12-year-old children is associated with fatty acid composition of human milk: The prevention and incidence of asthma and mite allergy birth cohort. Hypertension, 60(4), 1055–1060. doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.112.197830