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עמוד בית
Thu, 23.05.24

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April 2013
T. Silberstein, A. Burg, J. Blumenfeld, B. Sheizaf, T. Tzur and O. Saphier
 Background: Breast milk is well established as the ideal source of nutrition for infants. Mature human breast milk generally contains 3.5–4.5% lipids comprising mostly triacylglycerols. In general, the fat composition of maternal human milk in developing countries shows higher levels of saturated fats, reflecting diets rich in carbohydrates.

Objectives: To determine the profile of unsaturated fatty acids in the breast milk of two populations in southern Israel, Jewish and rural tent-dwelling Bedouin women.

Methods: This study involved 48 lactating Israeli mothers, 29 Jewish and 19 Bedouin (16–20 weeks postpartum), whose full-term infants were fed exclusively with breast milk. Total milk lipid extracts were transmethylated and analyzed by using an improved gas chromatographic method.

Results: The breast milk of the Bedouin women contained significantly higher levels of total major saturated fatty acids, lauric acid and palmitic acid (45.2 ± 4.7% vs. 41.0 ± 5.6%, P = 0.005; 5.2 ± 2.1 vs. 6.8 ± 2.0%, P = 0.03; and 22.7 ± 2.4 vs. 20.6 ± 3.8%, P = 0.02) respectively. No difference was found in the myristic acid level between the groups. The level of stearic acid was significantly higher in the Jewish group compared to the Bedouin group (5.7 ± 1.1 vs. 5.1 ± 1.1%, P = 0.04). There was a linear correlation between the levels of C14:0 and C12:0 in the Bedouin and Jewish groups respectively (R = 0.87, R = 0.82, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Higher levels of saturated fatty acids were measured in the breast milk of Bedouin women, an economically weaker population. The results emphasize the importance of diet among lactating women and its influence on milk quality. 

July 2012
N. Shapira

The Israeli Paradox“ (1996) of low national health rankings despite adequate diet – attributed to high dietary n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) – coincided with long-observed dichotomies between women’s worse international status vs. men’s advantage. This raised the assumption of a gender link to high n-6 risk as an explanation for both national phenomena. Israeli women’s disadvantage was shown by worse international rankings, i.e., life expectancy (LE), 11th vs. men’s 3rd-best/22 countries (2000), and 14th vs. 6th/34 (2010) all-cause and all-cancer mortality both 15th vs. 2nd-best/22 (2000), and 15th vs. 6th/22 and 12th vs. 2nd-best/22 (2010). Breast cancer mortality rates were +21.8%, vs. prostate -30.4%, compared to Eur-A (27 country) averages (2005). Gender gaps/ratios were smaller than European Union-15, i.e., LE at birth by 34.4–26.4% (2000–2010), respectively, and at 65 years 45.9–35.3% all-cause mortality by 43.3–33.4%, and all-cancer 65.2–58.7%. The Israeli diet was mostly close to guidelines, but n-6 intake (10–12% kcal) was much higher than both recommended and traditional Mediterranean diet“ levels. Research showing females’ greater potential for conversion of PUFA to long-chain PUFA (LCPUFA) may suggest their potentially increased production of n-6 eicosanoids with known pro-inflammatory/oxidative/carcinogenic potential. An N-6 Gender Nutrition Paradox“ hypothesis is suggested here, for the first time, associating women’s higher risk and lead in the national paradox“ with greater potential for n-6 conversion to pro-inflammatory/oxidative/carcinogenic eicosanoids compared to men. This may also exacerbate women’s risk associated with genetic predisposition (i.e., BRCA) and/or sociopolitical stress. Global abandonment of traditional diets/foods together with increasing n-6 consumption and western disease rates emphasize the importance of considering gender in nutritional epidemiology and preventive strategies.

January 2012
Ronit Lubetzky, MD, Galit Zaidenberg-Israeli, MD, Francis B. Mimouni, MD, Shaul Dollberg, MD, Eyal Shimoni, PhD, Yael Ungar, PhD and Dror Mandel, MD

Background: Human milk produced during prolonged lactation (> 1 year) is extraordinarily rich in fat and has a higher energy content than human milk produced during short lactation.

Objectives: To estimate the fatty acid (FA) profile of human milk and to test the hypothesis that the proportion of C12 and C14 (two dietary saturated FA known to most promote hypercholesterolemia) in human milk during prolonged lactation is similar to that in short lactation.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 30 mothers of term infants lactating for more than 1 year as compared with 25 mothers of full-term infants who lactated for 2–6 months. Milk was collected by manual expression in mid-breastfeeding.

Results: The two groups did not differ in maternal height, weight, body mass index, diet, infant birth weight and gestational age, but mothers in the prolonged lactation group were significantly older. There was a significant correlation between lactation duration and C12 or C14. The percentage of all FA combined (except for C12 and C14) decreased significantly over time. In contrast, C12:0 and C14:0 combined increased significantly during lactation (R2 = 10.0%, P < 0.03).

Conclusions: Women who lactated for more than 1 year had higher C12 and C14 FA percentages in their milk than women who lactated for 2–6 months.

April 2008
N. Shapira, P. Weill, R. Loewenbach

Background: As high dietary n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and n-6:n-3 PUFA[1] ratio may contribute to many western ailments, increasing n-3 PUFA in foods could be beneficial. The nutritional significance of n-3 PUFA-fortified egg vs. enzymatically competitive high n-6 PUFA diets is debatable.

Objectives: To evaluate the dietary contribution of 'field fortification' of eggs by adding n-3 PUFA to high n-6 PUFA hen feed and whether it meets consumer preferences.

Methods: Laying hens (n=3500) were fed n-3 PUFA-fortified (5% extruded linseed) feed or standard (control) feed for 5 weeks. Nutritional significance was evaluated for western (American, Israeli) populations.

Results: Compared to regular (control) eggs, fortified eggs yielded a 3.8-fold increase in total n-3 PUFA, 6.4-fold alpha-linolenic acid (18:3), and 2.4-fold docohexaenoic acid 22:6). N-6:n-3 PUFA ratio decreased 3.6-fold, and n-6:n-3 long chain PUFA ratio threefold (P < 0.0003). Sensory evaluations were not significantly different. Egg cost increased by 1.0–1.5%. Fortified egg n-3 PUFA content averaged 14.3% of the current intake of Americans and 15.9% of Israelis – 9.8 and 10.5% of upper Dietary Reference Intakes, respectively. Egg DHA content averaged 32.9 and 41.1% of upper DRI[2]. Current cholesterol intakes average 281 and 263 mg/day (median 214 and 184 mg/day) including 0.7 and 0.5 egg/day; reported hypercholesterolemia rates are 17.7 and 16.5%, respectively.

Conclusions: Effective concentration and transformation of supplemental n-3 PUFA/LCPUFA[3] from feed to egg substantially enhanced egg n-3 PUFA %DRI, particularly of DHA[4], critical for health but often deficient. Such land-based n-3 PUFA/LCPUFA fortification may be applicable to high n-6 PUFA diets, fitting within cholesterol limitations and market criteria. It may contribute to general health and specific requirements (i.e., pregnancy and lactation), with possibilities of wide accessibility and standardization.







[1] PUFA = polyunsaturated fatty acids

[2] DRI = Dietary Reference Intake

[3] LCPUFA = long chain PUFA (≥ C20)

[4] DHA = docohexaenoic acid (22:6 n-3)


April 2004
D. Weisman, M. Motro, E. Schwammenthal, E.Z. Fisman, A. Tenenbaum, D. Tanne and Y. Adler
January 2002
David Ergas, MD, Eran Eilat, MD, PhD, Shlomo Mendlovic, MD, PhD and Zeev M. Sthoeger, MD
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