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Changes in Human Milk Fatty Acid Composition during Lactation: The Ulm SPATZ Health Study

Pediatric Epidemiology, Department of Pediatrics, University Medicine Leipzig, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry, Ulm University, 89075 Ulm, Germany
Danone Nutricia Research, 3584 CT Utrecht, The Netherlands
Department of Chemical Biology & Drug Discovery, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, 3584 Utrecht, The Netherlands
Department of Paediatrics, Medical School, University of Pécs, 7623 Pécs, Hungary
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2842;
Received: 10 October 2019 / Revised: 13 November 2019 / Accepted: 14 November 2019 / Published: 20 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Milk, HMO, Lactation and Application in Infant Feeding)
The lipid fraction of human milk provides the infant with the fatty acids that are necessary for optimal growth and development. The aim of this study was to investigate the fatty acid composition of human milk at three time points during lactation and its change over time using appropriate statistical methods. Human milk samples from breastfeeding mothers at 6 weeks (n = 706), 6 months (n = 483), and 12 months (n = 81 with all three time points) were analyzed. Centered log-ratio (clr) transformation was applied to the fatty acid data. Principal component analysis (PCA) and generalized linear model-based repeated measure analysis were used to assess changes over time. The total lipid content was significantly higher at 6 months (β = 0.199, p < 0.029) and 12 months of lactation (β = 0.421, p < 0.001). The constituents of C20:3n-6 and C20:3n-3 were lower at 6 months (p < 0.001). Four distinct sub-compositional fatty acid groups were only identified at 12 months of lactation. The inclusion of small fatty acids of small constituent size in the analysis resulted in a shift in the balance between fatty acid constituents. Human milk fatty acid composition during prolonged lactation is different from that of human milk during a short duration of lactation. Our findings support the hypothesis that a combination of multiple fatty acids is important in fatty acid profiling beyond the presentation of individual fatty acids. Furthermore, the high variability of small fatty acids warrants attention because a compositional analysis may show more pronounced changes. View Full-Text
Keywords: human milk; fatty acids; lactation; composition human milk; fatty acids; lactation; composition
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MDPI and ACS Style

Siziba, L.P.; Lorenz, L.; Stahl, B.; Mank, M.; Marosvölgyi, T.; Decsi, T.; Rothenbacher, D.; Genuneit, J. Changes in Human Milk Fatty Acid Composition during Lactation: The Ulm SPATZ Health Study. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2842.

AMA Style

Siziba LP, Lorenz L, Stahl B, Mank M, Marosvölgyi T, Decsi T, Rothenbacher D, Genuneit J. Changes in Human Milk Fatty Acid Composition during Lactation: The Ulm SPATZ Health Study. Nutrients. 2019; 11(12):2842.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Siziba, Linda P., Leonie Lorenz, Bernd Stahl, Marko Mank, Tamas Marosvölgyi, Tamas Decsi, Dietrich Rothenbacher, and Jon Genuneit. 2019. "Changes in Human Milk Fatty Acid Composition during Lactation: The Ulm SPATZ Health Study" Nutrients 11, no. 12: 2842.

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