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Open AccessArticle

The Role of Lipids in Human Milk and Infant Formulae

Pediatric Intermediate Care Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ospedale Ca’ Granda-Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care and Emergency, 20122 Milan, Italy
Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Branch of Medical Statistics, Biometry, and Epidemiology “G. A. Maccacaro”, 20122 Milan, Italy
Institute of Microbiology Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, 29100 Piacenza, Italy
Pediatric Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy
Department of Food Safety, Unit of Human Nutrition and Health, Nutrition and Veterinary Public Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 00161 Rome, Italy
SIGENP (Italian Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition), via Libero Temolo 4 (Torre U8), 20126 Milan, Italy.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(5), 567;
Received: 4 April 2018 / Revised: 26 April 2018 / Accepted: 1 May 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Pediatric Gastroenterology: Selected Papers from SIGENP)
The quantity and quality of dietary lipids in infant formulae have a significant impact on health outcomes, especially when fat storing and/or absorption are limited (e.g., preterm birth and short bowel disease) or when fat byproducts may help to prevent some pathologies (e.g., atopy). The lipid composition of infant formulae varies according to the different fat sources used, and the potential biological effects are related to the variety of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. For example, since lipids are the main source of energy when the normal absorptive capacity of the digestive tract is compromised, medium-chain saturated fatty acids might cover this requirement. Instead, ruminant-derived trans fatty acids and metabolites of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids with their anti-inflammatory properties can modulate immune function. Furthermore, dietary fats may influence the nutrient profile of formulae, improving the acceptance of these products and the compliance with dietary schedules. View Full-Text
Keywords: fatty acids; infant formulae; preterm infants; short bowel disease; atopy fatty acids; infant formulae; preterm infants; short bowel disease; atopy
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Mazzocchi, A.; D’Oria, V.; Cosmi, V.D.; Bettocchi, S.; Milani, G.P.; Silano, M.; Agostoni, C. The Role of Lipids in Human Milk and Infant Formulae. Nutrients 2018, 10, 567.

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