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Phytochemicals in Human Milk and Their Potential Antioxidative Protection

Food Science and Nutrition Program, Department of Chemistry, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada
Institute of Biochemistry, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada
Antioxidants 2018, 7(2), 32;
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 17 February 2018 / Published: 22 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antioxidants: Infant Nutrition)
PDF [718 KB, uploaded 22 February 2018]


Diets contain secondary plant metabolites commonly referred to as phytochemicals. Many of them are believed to impact human health through various mechanisms, including protection against oxidative stress and inflammation, and decreased risks of developing chronic diseases. For mothers and other people, phytochemical intake occurs through the consumption of foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains. Research has shown that some these phytochemicals are present in the mother’s milk and can contribute to its oxidative stability. For infants, human milk (HM) represents the primary and preferred source of nutrition because it is a complete food. Studies have reported that the benefit provided by HM goes beyond basic nutrition. It can, for example, reduce oxidative stress in infants, thereby reducing the risk of lung and intestinal diseases in infants. This paper summarizes the phytochemicals present in HM and their potential contribution to infant health. View Full-Text
Keywords: oxidative stress; human milk; infant; phytochemicals oxidative stress; human milk; infant; phytochemicals

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Tsopmo, A. Phytochemicals in Human Milk and Their Potential Antioxidative Protection. Antioxidants 2018, 7, 32.

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