No information is currently available on the safety of combining phenylalanine and breastfeeding. Although it is a naturally occurring amino acid, this does not automatically mean that supplementation is safe. For example, women with PKU should never take phenylalanine. Breastfeeding women should probably wait until after their child is weaned before taking phenylalanine supplements.
Phenylalanine and Breastfeeding: An Overview
It is not known if phenylalanine supplements are safe for use in breastfeeding women. Phenylalanine is an amino acid essential for human nutrition. While it is found in many foods, it is also available as a dietary supplement. Until more information is available, it is probably a good idea to avoid these supplements while breastfeeding.
Is Phenylalanine Safe for Breastfeeding Women?
At this time, no information is available suggesting that phenylalanine supplements are either safe or unsafe for breastfeeding women. It might seem logical to assume that phenylalanine supplements would be perfectly safe for breastfeeding women, since it is an amino acid that is found naturally in many foods. However, just because a normal dietary intake through food is safe, it cannot be assumed that using phenylalanine supplements medicinally is equally safe. Perhaps the higher levels could cause problems, or perhaps the phenylalanine in supplements is slightly different from the phenylalanine found in foods. Until more information is available, it is best to wait until after weaning your child to try phenylalanine supplements.
Phenylalanine is not safe for breastfeeding women (or anyone else) with phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare genetic condition in which the body cannot process phenylalanine normally.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Phenylalanine and Breastfeeding
You should talk with your healthcare provider about phenylalanine and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision about phenylalanine and breastfeeding that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed March 6, 2008.
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients). Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2005. Available at: http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10490&page=R1. Accessed March 6, 2008.
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