From mother to baby; how mother’s metabolism determines the baby’s metabolism through the milk composition

One of the major components of breastmilk is fat, which is produced in the breast by the mammary gland, mainly from carbohydrates through a process called denovo lipogenesis, together with essential fatty acids from the circulations. The fat in the milk is metabolised by the infant and then brought into the circulation in a range of lipids.

We used high resolution mass spectrometry to study the fat composition of breastmilk from 30 mothers in the Gambia, as well as the lipid composition of the mother’s and infant’s blood, all at the same day, 3 months after birth. This gave us, for the first time, an insight how the metabolism from the mother affects the lipid metabolism of the infant, through the fat composition of the milk. Our results show that the fats produced in the breast are important for a health development of the infant.

Furse, S., Billing, G., Snowden, S. G., Smith, J., Goldberg, G., & Koulman, A. (2019). Relationship between the lipid composition of maternal plasma and infant plasma through breast milk. Metabolomics : Official journal of the Metabolomic Society,

baby breast feeding
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