Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Lipids are the main source of calories and considered very important in infant growth. We aimed to compare fatty acid composition of term and preterm breast milk. This is the first study that compares the fatty acid levels of preterm and term breast milk in Turkish women. Materials and methods: Breast milk samples were obtained from mothers of term (n = 15) and preterm (n = 15) infants on postnatal days 3, 7, and 28. Fatty acid composition of human breast milk was determined longitudinally by gas-chromatography/mass spectrometry. Results: There were 31 fatty acids measured in the milk samples. In the first month, 17 fatty acid levels had significant differences. In group comparison, some fatty acids (C14:0, C16:0, C18:1 and C20:5) had significantly increased in the preterm group (P = 0.041, P = 0.046, P = 0.027, P = 0.033, respectively), whereas myristoleic acid (C14:1) and eicosanoic acid (C20:0) had significantly increased in the term group (P = 0.015, P = 0.048, respectively). Conclusion: Term and preterm milk have different compositions of fatty acids. Breast milk composition changes over time. As a general conclusion, breast milk provides the lipid requirements of infants.


Breast milk, fatty acid, preterm, term

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