Variation of the cholesterol content in breast milk during 10 days collection at early stages of lactation
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More and more research is done concerning nutritional programming. Human milk nutrients which are consumed by infants can influence their health in later life. High level of cholesterol in human milk paradoxically lowers the cholesterol concentration in blood in adults. During the course of human lactation the cholesterol concentration decreases from 31 mg/100cm3 (colostrum) to 16 mg/100 cm3 (mature milk). According to Scopesi et al., 2002, Clin Nutr 21: 379-384, cholesterol concentration in mature milk ranged from 6.5 to 18.4 mg/100 cm3. The aim of the study was to assess the variations in breast milk cholesterol content during 10 day collection at early lactation. 48 samples of human milk were analyzed. Mean age of women was 31 years. Women were collecting samples during 10 days of an early lactation stage (1-3 months after delivery). An Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transformed Infrared (FTIR-ATR) method for easy and rapid determination of cholesterol in human milk was elaborated. Cholesterol content assessed by the FTIR method ranged from 3.36 to 12.98 mg/100 cm3. Results indicate that milk cholesterol concentration during 10 consecutive days of early lactation is highly variable. Cholesterol content depends on an individual. Therefore it is suggested that not only the period of lactation but also mother's diet, age, season and place of residence are important factors determining cholesterol content.
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