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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008 Apr;1126:177-80. doi: 10.1196/annals.1433.049.

Plasma concentration and urinary excretion of N epsilon-(carboxymethyl)lysine in breast milk- and formula-fed infants.

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Slovak Medical University, Bratislava, Slovakia.


Industrial processing of infant formulas (IFs) induces the formation of Maillard products, namely N epsilon-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML). CML content is expected to be several times higher in IFs than in fresh human breast milk. To elucidate whether CML is absorbed from IFs into the bloodstream, CML concentration in the plasma and urine were analyzed in 6-month-old infants (34 breast fed and 25 fed exclusively with IFs) and in 56 samples of human breast milk and 16 commercial IFs. We found that IFs contain higher amounts of CML compared to mother's milk (median: 70-fold; range: 28- to 389-fold), and CML content was higher in hydrolyzed IFs than in nonhydrolyzed IFs (P < 0.03). Plasma CML levels were 46% higher (P < 0.01) and urinary excretion of CML was 60-fold higher (P < 0.001) in the formula-fed infants than in the breast-fed group. Infants fed with hydrolyzed IFs displayed significantly higher plasma CML levels than those on nonhydrolyzed formulations. We conclude that CML from IFs is absorbed into the circulatory system and is rapidly excreted in the urine.

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