To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Carotenoids are important bioactive substances in breast milk, the profile of which is seldom studied. This study aimed to explore the profile of carotenoids in breast milk and maternal/cord plasma of healthy mother–neonate pairs in Shanghai, China, and their correlation with dietary intake. Maternal blood, umbilical cord blood and breast milk samples from five lactation stages (colostrum, transitional milk and early-, mid- and late-term mature milk) were collected. Carotenoid levels were analysed by HPLC. Carotenoid levels in breast milk changed as lactation progressed (P < 0·001). β-Carotene was the primary carotenoid in colostrum. Lutein accounted for approximately 50 % of total carotenoids in transitional milk, mature milk and cord blood. Positive correlations were observed between five carotenoids in umbilical cord blood and maternal blood (P all < 0·001). β-Carotene levels were also correlated between maternal plasma and three stages of breast milk (r = 0·605, P < 0·001; r = 0·456, P = 0·011, r = 0·446; P = 0·013, respectively). Dietary carotenoid intakes of lactating mothers also differed across lactation stages, although no correlation with breast milk concentrations was found. These findings suggest the importance of exploring the transport mechanism of carotenoids between mothers and infants and help guide the development of formulas for Chinese infants as well as the nutritional diets of lactating mothers.
Carotenoids are increasingly being implicated to have an important role in brain and eye development. This study aimed to quantify the content and profile of carotenoids in human breast milk, maternal plasma and neonatal umbilical cord plasma in Chengdu, an urban area in Southwest China. In this study, fifty-four healthy mothers were enrolled. Maternal blood, umbilical cord blood, colostrum, transitional milk and mature milk were collected. Concentrations of carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, β-carotene and lycopene) were analysed by HPLC. We found that carotenoid concentrations decreased from colostrum to mature milk. Hydrocarbon carotenoids with weaker polarity decreased more than the polar carotenoids. Lycopene concentrations dropped by 99 %, β-carotene by 92 %, β-cryptoxanthin by 83 %, lutein by 32 % and zeaxanthin by 22 %. Lycopene and β-carotene accounted for 70 % of the total carotenoids in colostrum, and lutein predominated amongst carotenoids in transitional milk and mature milk (51–55 %). Carotenoid concentrations in maternal plasma were much higher than that in cord plasma. Lutein predominated in cord plasma. The concentrations of all carotenoids in maternal plasma were correlated with those of cord plasma and human milk. These results are consistent with selective transport mechanisms in the mammary gland related to the polarity of carotenoids, and each carotenoid has its own implications, which may have different priorities in the early life development of infants. These findings may help guide dietary recommendations for carotenoid inclusion in infant formulas.
α-Tocopherol is the principal source of vitamin E, an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy brain function. Infant formula is routinely supplemented with synthetic α-tocopherol, a racaemic mixture of eight stereoisomers with less bioactivity than the natural stereoisomer RRR-α-tocopherol. α-Tocopherol stereoisomer profiles have not been previously reported in the human brain. In the present study, we analysed total α-tocopherol and α-tocopherol stereoisomers in the frontal cortex (FC), hippocampus (HPC) and visual cortex (VC) of infants (n 36) who died of sudden infant death syndrome or other conditions. RRR-α-tocopherol was the predominant stereoisomer in all brain regions (P<0·0001) and samples, despite a large intra-decedent range in total α-tocopherol (5–17 μg/g). Mean RRR-α-tocopherol concentrations in FC, HPC and VC were 10·5, 6·8 and 5·5 μg/g, respectively. In contrast, mean levels of the synthetic stereoisomers were RRS, 1–1·5; RSR, 0·8–1·0; RSS, 0·7–0·9; and Σ2S 0·2–0·3 μg/g. Samples from all but two decedents contained measurable levels of the synthetic stereoisomers, but the intra-decedent variation was large. The ratio of RRR:the sum of the synthetic 2R stereoisomers (RRS+RSR+RSS) averaged 2·5, 2·3 and 2·4 in FC, HPC and VC, respectively, and ranged from 1 to at least 4·7, indicating that infant brain discriminates against synthetic 2R stereoisomers in favour of RRR. These findings reveal that RRR-α-tocopherol is the predominant stereoisomer in infant brain. These data also indicate that the infant brain discriminates against the synthetic 2R stereoisomers, but is unable to do so completely. On the basis of these findings, investigation into the impact of α-tocopherol stereoisomers on neurodevelopment is warranted.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.