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Lecithin supplementation and breastmilk

Commented on May 01, 2013
Created April 30, 2013 at 7:04 PM

My wife and I just had our first baby. You'll all be glad to hear he's pretty much a 100% Paleo baby, born of fermented cod liver oil, grass-fed steaks and eggs.

He's a happy little guy, but my wife is having trouble with plugged ducts, causing mastitis (fevers, etc). Not pleasant. Apparently, her breastmilk is 'too fatty', so our midwife wants her to thin it with lecithin supplementation.

Lecithin supposedly reduces the viscosity of the milk by altering the composition of fats in the milk (increasing polyunsaturated). I'm pretty sceptical about it, but I don't want my wife to suffer from recurring mastitis (this is the third time so far). My concern is that the lecithin will somehow prevent omega 3s from getting to his developing brain - or something like that. I can't quit articulate my fears, just that I don't want him drinking skimmed breastmilk.

Do any of you know what effect lecithin has on the fat composition of breastmilk, and whether it is risky for our growing baby if my wife takes it?

3151fbbd2846551fd27b33f6cba5e546

on May 01, 2013
at 09:03 AM

Bones, thank you very much! I will check out egg yolk lecithin.

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A0c49f398499246c623e6527e9dd5ca2

(548)

on April 30, 2013
at 07:30 PM

I'm very happy to hear about the diet of your new born child. Lecithin is a bipolar fat (it's one choline+phosphate group, a glycerol and 2 fatty acids(they can both be sat./monounsat./polyunsat. or a combination) that is the main component of animals cell membranes, so it's a very good, essential part of our live. We also constantly consume it through our diet with animal products or eggs. However, the main source of purified lecithin today is soy. Soy usually is a source of unsaturated lecithin which has been shown to decrease cholesterol and LDL significantly and increase HDL.

  1. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/120/7/659.long
  2. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jnsv1973/39/1/39_1_63/_article

So yes, your concerns are right! I would stay away from huge amounts of soy lecithin, as it isn't only inflammatory but also inhibits the absorbtion of O3s as you rightly pointed out and also has huge effects on ones blood lipids (CW calls it a 'favorable' effect but I wouldn't). However to do the best for your child and your wife you might want to try lecthin that is derived from egg yolks (you can easily find it on amazon). It's more saturated and doesn't has the same effects as soy lecithin on ones blood lipids.

3151fbbd2846551fd27b33f6cba5e546

on May 01, 2013
at 09:03 AM

Bones, thank you very much! I will check out egg yolk lecithin.

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