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Fatty acid composition of human colostrum and mature breast milk.

RA Gibson and GM Kneebone

The fatty acid composition of human milk obtained on individual samples from 120 mothers early (day 3 to 5) and later (day 40 to 45) in lactation were determined by argentation thin-layer and gas chromatographic procedures. In comparison with mature milk, human colostrum was characterized by a lower percentage of saturated fatty acids including medium chain length acids, a higher percentage of monounsaturates, and a lower level of linoleic and linolenic acids, but a higher percentage of their long chain polyunsaturated derivatives. It is concluded that in view of their levels in breast milk, the polyenoic derivatives of linoleic and linolenic acids must be taken into account when assessing infant foods.

The Journal of Cell Biology, Vol 72, 617-627, Copyright © 1977 by The Rockefeller University Press