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Open AccessArticle

Quantification of Nervonic Acid in Human Milk in the First 30 Days of Lactation: Influence of Lactation Stages and Comparison with Infant Formulae

1,2, 1,2, 1,2, 1,2, 1,2,* and 1,2,*
1
State Key Lab of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China
2
International Joint Research Laboratory for Lipid Nutrition and Safety, Collaborative Innovation Center of Food Safety and Quality Control in Jiangsu Province, School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1892; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11081892
Received: 2 July 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 12 August 2019 / Published: 14 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Milk and Lactation)
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PDF [1444 KB, uploaded 14 August 2019]
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Abstract

Nervonic acid (24:1 n-9, NA) plays a crucial role in the development of white matter, and it occurs naturally in human milk. This study aims to quantify NA in human milk at different lactation stages and compare it with the NA measured in infant formulae. With this information, optimal nutritional interventions for infants, especially newborns, can be determined. In this study, an absolute detection method that uses experimentally derived standard curves and methyl tricosanoate as the internal standard was developed to quantitively analyze NA concentration. The method was applied to the analysis of 224 human milk samples, which were collected over a period of 3–30 days postpartum from eight healthy Chinese mothers. The results show that the NA concentration was highest in colostrum (0.76 ± 0.23 mg/g fat) and significantly decreased (p < 0.001) in mature milk (0.20 ± 0.03 mg/g fat). During the first 10 days of lactation, the change in NA concentration was the most pronounced, decreasing by about 65%. Next, the NA contents in 181 commercial infant formulae from the Chinese market were compared. The NA content in most formulae was <16% of that found in colostrum and less than that found in mature human milk (p < 0.05). No significant difference (p > 0.05) was observed among NA content in formulae with different fat sources. Special attention was given to the variety of n-9 fatty acids in human milk during lactation, and the results indicated that interindividual variation in NA content may be primarily due to endogenous factors, with less influence from the maternal diet. View Full-Text
Keywords: n-9 fatty acid; nervonic acid; human milk fat; infant formula; lactational stage n-9 fatty acid; nervonic acid; human milk fat; infant formula; lactational stage
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Yu, J.; Yuan, T.; Zhang, X.; Jin, Q.; Wei, W.; Wang, X. Quantification of Nervonic Acid in Human Milk in the First 30 Days of Lactation: Influence of Lactation Stages and Comparison with Infant Formulae. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1892.

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