Carotenoids and tocopherols concentrations in breast milk

Editor(s): Xue Y, Campos-Giménez E, Redeuil KM, Lévèques A, Actis-Goretta L, Vinyes-Pares G, Zhang Y, Wang P, Thakkar SK..

Concentrations of Carotenoids and Tocopherols in Breast Milk from Urban Chinese Mothers and Their Associations with Maternal Characteristics: A Cross-Sectional Study

Xue Y, Campos-Giménez E, Redeuil KM, Lévèques A, Actis-Goretta L, Vinyes-Pares G, Zhang Y, Wang P, Thakkar SK.

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Vitamin A and D are required in many metabolic functions for the growing infant, and are present in breast milk in the form of preformed retinol and carotenoids (Vit A) and tocopherols (Vit E).  

This study analyzed carotenoids (β carotene, β crypptoxanthin, lutein, lycopene and zeaxanthin) and tocopherols (α and ƴ tocopherol) in breast milk taken between 4 and 240 days postpartum in a cross-sectional study in China.  Most of the carotenoids and tocopherols were higher in early lactation compared to later time points. While there were no significant associations with dietary intake of vitamin A and E, other maternal factors like mode of delivery, BMI and maternal education seem to be associated to levels of zeaxanthin and β carotene. Given the importance of these nutrients on early infant development, more research should be conducted to understand maternal factors that affect them.

Nutrients. 2017 Nov 9;9(11). pii: E1229. doi: 10.3390/nu9111229.

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