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Pediatr Clin North Am. 2013 Feb;60(1):49-74. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2012.10.002.

Human milk composition: nutrients and bioactive factors.

Author information

1
Division of Immunobiology, Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Human Milk and Lactation, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA. Olivia.Ballard@cchmc.org

Abstract

This article provides an overview of the composition of human milk, its variation, and its clinical relevance. The composition of human milk is the biological norm for infant nutrition. Human milk also contains many hundreds to thousands of distinct bioactive molecules that protect against infection and inflammation and contribute to immune maturation, organ development, and healthy microbial colonization. Some of these molecules (eg, lactoferrin) are being investigated as novel therapeutic agents. Human milk changes in composition from colostrum to late lactation, within feeds, by gestational age, diurnally, and between mothers. Feeding infants with expressed human milk is increasing.

PMID:
23178060
PMCID:
PMC3586783
DOI:
10.1016/j.pcl.2012.10.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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