Poster Topical Area: Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 384

P13-127 - Branched-chain fatty acids in human breast milk of is specific for Lactation and gestational age

Sunday, Jun 10
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Objectives: Branched-chain fatty acids (BCFAs) are present in breast milk but not in most formulas intended for preterm infants. We aimed to determine the composition of BCFAs in the breast milk of mothers with preterm infants, and to understand the impact of gestational age at birth and stage of lactation on BCFA content.


Methods: All experiments with human subjects were approved by the Ethics Committee of Jiangnan University, China. Colostrum (4 ± 3 days postpartum), transitional milk (11 ± 3 days), and mature milk at three times postpartum (30 ± 3, 60 ± 3, and 90 ± 3 days) were sampled from 68 mothers. Total lipids were extracted and Sn-2 monoacylglycerol were prepared. After methylation´╝îweakly polar gas chromatography columns was utilized to quantify BCFAs in breast milk by GC-MS.


Results: The main BCFAs in preterm breast milk were iso-14:0, iso-15:0, anteiso-15:0, iso-16:0, iso-17:0, and anteiso-17:0. Breast milk BCFAs as a percent of total fatty acids (g/100 g, %) were significantly different across lactation stages, with the highest concentration in colostrum, followed by transitional and mature breast milk (median: 0.41, 0.31, and 0.28%, respectively, p < 0.05). BCFAs increased with pregnancy duration, which is particularly significant in the colostrum, while with increased lactation time, the differences in BCFA content between preterm and term breast milk gradually decreased. Total BCFA content in the term colostrum group was significantly higher than in the early preterm group (means: 0.55 and 0.37%, respectively; p Iso-15:0 and anteiso-15:0 were at their lowest levels in early preterm milk, and increased at each subsequent stage of pregnancy. However, this increase only dramatically happened between early preterm and term. The iso-16:0, iso-17:0, and anteiso-17:0 levels were significantly higher at term compared to other gestational ages. BCFAs were mainly in the sn-2 position (52–65%), similar to palmitic acid.


Conclusions: Overall, preterm and term breast milk BCFAs were similar and showed specific concentration patterns, resembling 16:0 with respect to sn-2 positional distribution.BCFAs were reduced with lactation stage, similar to highly unsaturated fatty acids.




Funding Source: National key R&D program "modern food processing and food purchasing and transport Technology and equipment on special of China, No. 2017YFD0400600; Fund of BINC "Nutrition and care of Maternal and Child Research Funding program", No.2017BINCMCF34.

CoAuthors: Ce Qi – school of food science and technology, Jiangnan University; Liang Jie – Jiangnan university

Jin Sun


School of food science and technology, Jiangnan University
Wuxi, Jiangsu, China (People's Republic)