New findings from the CHILD Cohort Study shed light on the diverse factors that influence human milk fatty acid composition.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that the amount and mixture of breast milk fats are unique to each mother.
In addition to a mother’s diet and genetics, the researchers also examined the impact of sociodemographic and environmental factors such as birth mode, gestational age, maternal pre-pregnancy weight and other factors on fatty acid concentrations.
“To our knowledge, this study is the first to assess such a wide variety of factors that influence the concentrations of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) or “good fat” and other fatty acids in human milk, highlighting the incredible variation that makes human milk so unique,” said Dr. Meghan Azad, the University of Manitoba investigator who co-leads the Manitoba site of CHILD.
Dr. Kozeta Miliku, an AllerGen trainee and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Manitoba, was lead author on the study. The researchers used data from more than 1,000 mothers and their infants participating in the CHILD Cohort Study.