Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Nutr. 2000 Feb;39(1):31-7.

The fatty acid composition of human colostrum.

Author information

  • 1Institute for Nutrition, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Slovenia, Domzale, Slovenia.


We reviewed 15 studies reporting on the fatty acid composition of colostrum lipids from 16 geographic regions: 11 European studies and one study each from Central America, the Caribbean, Australia and Asia. The contents of essential fatty acids, saturates and polyunsaturates were similar in the southern European countries Spain, Slovenia and France. Colostrum of St. Lucian women was high in saturates and low in oleic acid, reflecting a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet. Abundant fish intake was reflected in high contents of docosahexaenoic acid and total n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in St. Lucia. Two French studies published with an interval of two years showed a very similar colostrum fatty acid composition, whereas two German studies obtained with an interval of 14 years showed higher docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid contents in the later study, with an unchanged n-6/n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid ratio. Studies from Spain reported a decline of alpha-linolenic acid in colostrum over a time period of 13 years. Colostrum of Australian women contained the lowest polyunsaturated/saturated and n-6/n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids ratios (0.28 and 1.58) and the lowest contents of linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids (7.8 and 0.4 wt.%). In contrast, the contents of docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid and total n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (0.6, 0.4 and 1.4 wt.%) were higher in Australian than in European samples. Fatty acid composition of human colostrum appears to be markedly influenced by geographic differences in maternal dietary composition.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk