Purpose: During lactation, several physiological modifications occur including cellular
differentiation and proliferation, as well as elevation in inflammation. The role of the
Mediterranean (MED) diet rich in walnuts has been shown to favorably modify fatty acid
profiles and to reduce inflammation. The study goal is to evaluate the anti-inflammatory
effects of the MED diet rich in walnuts during lactation, a time of increased inflammatory
Procedures: A randomized, controlled dietary intervention trial among lactating women
comparing the effects of a Mediterranean-style diet with walnuts to the USDA's MyPyramid Diet
for Moms was commenced to determine the effects of the diet on fatty acid profiles and
biomarkers of inflammation in breast milk and material serum/plasma. Secondary outcomes of
interest include effects of maternal diet assignment on maternal body weight and body
composition as well as infants' growth and health during the study trial period.
Population: The study population includes healthy women between the ages of 18-40 years who
are within 6 months post-partum and plan to breastfeed a minimum of 3 times per day for 6
months following study entry. There have been a total of 138 participants enrolled in the
study. All 138 participants are women; 34 identified themselves as Hispanic, and 104 said
they were not Hispanic.