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Open AccessArticle

The Effects of Leptin on Breastfeeding Behaviour

School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia 6009, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Jane Scott and Colin Binns
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(10), 12340-12355;
Received: 31 July 2015 / Revised: 7 September 2015 / Accepted: 23 September 2015 / Published: 30 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Breastfeeding and Infant Health)
Breastfed infants have a reduced risk of becoming overweight and/or obese later in life. This protective effect has been partly attributed to leptin present in breastmilk. This study investigated 24-h variations of skim milk leptin and its relationship with breastmilk macronutrients and infant breastfeeding patterns. Exclusive breastfeeding mothers of term singletons (n = 19; age 10 ± 5 weeks) collected pre- and post-feed breastmilk samples for every breastfeed over a 24-h period and test-weighed their infants to determine milk intake at every breastfeed over a 24-h period. Samples (n = 454) were analysed for leptin, protein, lactose and fat content. Skim milk leptin concentration did not change with feeding (p = 0.184). However, larger feed volumes (>105 g) were associated with a decrease in post-feed leptin levels (p = 0.009). There was no relationship between the change in leptin levels and change in protein (p = 0.313) or lactose levels (p = 0.587) between pre- and post-feed milk, but there was a trend for a positive association with changes in milk fat content (p = 0.056). Leptin concentration significantly increased at night (p < 0.001) indicating a possible 24-h pattern. Leptin dose (ng) was not associated with the time between feeds (p = 0.232). Further research should include analysis of whole breastmilk and other breastmilk fractions to extend these findings. View Full-Text
Keywords: leptin; human milk; breast milk; breastfeeding; appetite regulation; lactation leptin; human milk; breast milk; breastfeeding; appetite regulation; lactation
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Cannon, A.M.; Kakulas, F.; Hepworth, A.R.; Lai, C.T.; Hartmann, P.E.; Geddes, D.T. The Effects of Leptin on Breastfeeding Behaviour. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 12340-12355.

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