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Worldwide Variation in Human Milk Metabolome: Indicators of Breast Physiology and Maternal Lifestyle?

School of Molecular Sciences, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA 6009, Australia
Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, AB T6G 1C9, Canada
Departments of Nutrition/Food Science & Technology, University of California Davis, California, CA 95616-5270, USA
Division of Medical Microbiology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
Department of Environmental Exposure and Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo N-0213, Norway
Department of Public Health Sciences, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI 48208, USA
Department of Pediatrics, Chiba University, Chiba 260-8677, Japan
Department of Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Hospital at Westmead, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2145, Australia
School of Medicine, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia
ORIGINS Project, Telethon Kids Institute, Perth Children’s Hospital, Perth, WA 6009, Australia
Department of Paediatrics, Imperial College London, London W2 1NY, UK
Faculty of Pediatrics, Sechenov University, Moscow 119991, Russia
Departments of Pediatrics/Obstetrics & Gynecology, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta AB T6G 1C9, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
InVIVO Planetary Health of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), West New York, NJ 10704, USA.
Nutrients 2018, 10(9), 1151;
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 16 August 2018 / Accepted: 20 August 2018 / Published: 23 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Breastfeeding and Human Lactation)
Human milk provides essential substrates for the optimal growth and development of a breastfed infant. Besides providing nutrients to the infant, human milk also contains metabolites which form an intricate system between maternal lifestyle, such as the mother’s diet and the gut microbiome, and infant outcomes. This study investigates the variation of these human milk metabolites from five different countries. Human milk samples (n = 109) were collected one month postpartum from Australia, Japan, the USA, Norway, and South Africa and were analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance. The partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) showed separation between either maternal countries of origin or ethnicities. Variation between countries in concentration of metabolites, such as 2-oxoglutarate, creatine, and glutamine, in human milk, between countries, could provide insights into problems, such as mastitis and/or impaired functions of the mammary glands. Several important markers of milk production, such as lactose, betaine, creatine, glutamate, and glutamine, showed good correlation between each metabolite. This work highlights the importance of milk metabolites with respect to maternal lifestyle and the environment, and also provides the framework for future breastfeeding and microbiome studies in a global context. View Full-Text
Keywords: human milk; milk metabolites; lactation; milk metabolomics human milk; milk metabolites; lactation; milk metabolomics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gay, M.C.L.; Koleva, P.T.; Slupsky, C.M.; Toit, E.D.; Eggesbo, M.; Johnson, C.C.; Wegienka, G.; Shimojo, N.; Campbell, D.E.; Prescott, S.L.; Munblit, D.; Geddes, D.T.; Kozyrskyj, A.L.; InVIVO LactoActive Study Investigators. Worldwide Variation in Human Milk Metabolome: Indicators of Breast Physiology and Maternal Lifestyle? Nutrients 2018, 10, 1151.

AMA Style

Gay MCL, Koleva PT, Slupsky CM, Toit ED, Eggesbo M, Johnson CC, Wegienka G, Shimojo N, Campbell DE, Prescott SL, Munblit D, Geddes DT, Kozyrskyj AL, InVIVO LactoActive Study Investigators. Worldwide Variation in Human Milk Metabolome: Indicators of Breast Physiology and Maternal Lifestyle? Nutrients. 2018; 10(9):1151.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gay, Melvin C.L., Petya T. Koleva, Carolyn M. Slupsky, Elloise D. Toit, Merete Eggesbo, Christine C. Johnson, Ganesa Wegienka, Naoki Shimojo, Dianne E. Campbell, Susan L. Prescott, Daniel Munblit, Donna T. Geddes, Anita L. Kozyrskyj, and InVIVO LactoActive Study Investigators. 2018. "Worldwide Variation in Human Milk Metabolome: Indicators of Breast Physiology and Maternal Lifestyle?" Nutrients 10, no. 9: 1151.

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