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Metabolites 2018, 8(4), 79;

Metabolomics of Breast Milk: The Importance of Phenotypes

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Pathology and Neonatal Section, Azienda University Polyclinic, University of Cagliari, 09124 Cagliari, Italy
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 10679 Athens, Greece
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, General District, Hospital Alexandra, 11528 Athens, Greece
Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences, University of Cagliari, 09124 Cagliari, Italy
The authors contributed equally to the work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 October 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 17 November 2018 / Published: 20 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NMR-based Metabolomics and Its Applications Volume 2)
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Breast milk is the gold standard of nutrition for newborns. Its composition is tailored to the nutritional needs of the infant and varies between mothers. In recent years, several bioactive molecules have been discovered in addition to the main nutrients, such as multipotent stem cells, hormones, immunoglobulins, and bacteria. Furthermore, the human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) seem to exert several important protective biological functions. According to the HMOs’ composition, breast milk can be classified as a secretory or non-secretory phenotype. In our study, we investigated the metabolome of milk collected from 58 mothers that delivered neonates at term, that were appropriate, small or large for gestational age, by performing nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-NMR). From the data analysis, two groups were distinguished based on their different types of oligosaccharides, and classified according the mother phenotype: secretory and non-secretory. This information is of major importance given the different biological function of the different HMOs, such as immune-modulation and protection against disease. This would allow us to predict whether the neonate would be, for instance, more prone to developing certain diseases, and to tailor her or his nutrition to fit their needs perfectly and pave the way to a personalized nutrition. View Full-Text
Keywords: metabolomics; human milk; NMR metabolomics; human milk; NMR

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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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Dessì, A.; Briana, D.; Corbu, S.; Gavrili, S.; Cesare Marincola, F.; Georgantzi, S.; Pintus, R.; Fanos, V.; Malamitsi-Puchner, A. Metabolomics of Breast Milk: The Importance of Phenotypes. Metabolites 2018, 8, 79.

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