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Open AccessReview

The Functional Power of the Human Milk Proteome

by Jing Zhu 1,2 and Kelly A. Dingess 1,2,*
Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics, Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research and Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Utrecht, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands
Netherlands Proteomics Center, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1834;
Received: 12 July 2019 / Revised: 2 August 2019 / Accepted: 6 August 2019 / Published: 8 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Milk and Lactation)
Human milk is the most complete and ideal form of nutrition for the developing infant. The composition of human milk consistently changes throughout lactation to meet the changing functional needs of the infant. The human milk proteome is an essential milk component consisting of proteins, including enzymes/proteases, glycoproteins, and endogenous peptides. These compounds may contribute to the healthy development in a synergistic way by affecting growth, maturation of the immune system, from innate to adaptive immunity, and the gut. A comprehensive overview of the human milk proteome, covering all of its components, is lacking, even though numerous analyses of human milk proteins have been reported. Such data could substantially aid in our understanding of the functionality of each constituent of the proteome. This review will highlight each of the aforementioned components of human milk and emphasize the functionality of the proteome throughout lactation, including nutrient delivery and enhanced bioavailability of nutrients for growth, cognitive development, immune defense, and gut maturation. View Full-Text
Keywords: human milk; protein; glycoprotein; endogenous peptide; breastfeeding human milk; protein; glycoprotein; endogenous peptide; breastfeeding
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Zhu, J.; Dingess, K.A. The Functional Power of the Human Milk Proteome. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1834.

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