Background:Breastfed infants tend to be less prone to infections and may have improved cognitive benefits compared to formula-fed infants. Human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) are the third most abundant component of human milk, but are absent from formulae. They may be partially responsible for the benefits of breastfeeding.
Objective:In this cross-sectional observational study, the HMO composition of milk from Chinese mothers was studied to determine the impact of stage of lactation, mode of delivery and geographical location.
Methods:The content of 10 HMO was measured by HPLC in 446 milk samples from mothers living in three different cities in China.
Results:Around 21% of the samples contained levels of 21-fucosyllactose (21-FL) below the limit of quantification, which is similar to the frequency of fucosyltransferase-2 non-secretors in other populations, but 21-FL was detected in all samples. Levels of most of the HMO studied decreased during the course of lactation, but the level of 3-fucosyllactose increased. Levels of 21-FL and 3-fucosyllactose seem to be strongly correlated, suggesting some sort of mechanism for co-regulation. Levels of 61-sialyllactose were higher than those of 31-sialyllactose at early stages of lactation, but beyond 2–4 months, 31-sialyllactose was predominant.
Conclusion:Neither mode of delivery nor geographical location had any impact on HMO composition. Read More
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