Effect of Fish Oil on the Level of Interferon Gamma on the Breast Milk of Atopic Mothers: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Child Growth and Development Research Center, Research Institute for Primordial Prevention of Non-communicable Disease, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

4 Department of Pediatrics, Child Growth and Development Research Center, Research Institute for Primordial Prevention of Non-communicable Disease, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Abstract

Background: The prevalence of allergic diseases is increasing worldwide. The effective role of omega-3 fatty acids in the maturation of immune system and protection against atopic diseases has been well discussed. However, previous studies revealed conflicting results. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of fish oil consumption by nursing atopic mothers on the level of interferon gamma (IFN-γ) in their breast milk and incidence of allergic disease in their infants.
Methods: This randomized clinical trial was conducted on 94 atopic mothers, who were assigned to two equal groups receiving either 1000 mg fish oil capsules or placebo for 60 days after delivery. The breast milk was collected 120 days after delivery, and IFN-γ level was measured. The history of the symptoms of atopic disease in infants was collected from their mothers through ISAAC questionnaire; in addition, the infants’ growth was evaluated.
Results: Sixty mother-infant pairs completed the trial. The mean values of IFN-γ in breast milk was higher in the fish oil group (1.11±1.15 Pg/ml) than in the placebo group (0.81±0.86 Pg/ml), but the difference was not significant (P=0.288). In addition, the incidence of allergic symptoms of infants was not significantly different between the two groups (P=0.84).
Conclusion: In this trial, the consumption of fish oil by lactating mothers did not have a significant effect on IFN-γ level in their breast milk and the incidence of allergic symptoms in their infants. Future studies with longer follow-ups are necessary in this regard.

Keywords


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