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Br J Nutr. 1981 May;45(3):483-94.

Breast-milk fat concentrations of rural African women. 1. Short-term variations within individuals.

Abstract

1. Detailed studies of variations in breast-milk fat concentrations were performed over 12 or 24 h periods on sixty rural Gambian women feeding on demand. The creamatocrit method (Lucas et al. 1978) was used. 2. The complex pattern of within-feed and between-feed changes in fat concentration was largely explained by differences in volume per feed and time interval between feeds. 3. No consistent difference in fat production between the breasts of each individual was found despite the local custom of starting all feeds on the right breast. 4. A marked diurnal variation in the mean fat concentration per feed was noted. On average the highest values occurred in the early morning, the lowest values in the late afternoon. 5. There was significantly greater between-individual than within-individual variation in the mean fat concentration per feed over 12 h (P less than 0.001). 6. A simple, rational and non-intrusive sampling procedure was devised for the estimation of whole-day mean fat levels based on the finding that the mean fat concentration of small samples of milk (0.25 ml) taken from both breasts before and after one specific feed of the day was closely correlated with 12 h and 24 h mean fat concentrations.

PIP:

The study purpose was to establish the pattern of breast milk fat concentration changes that occurs during the day among underprivileged African women feeding on demand and thereby to devise a rational sampling procedure for the estimation of daily mean fat concentrations. The creamatocrit method was used in detailed studies of variations in breast-milk fat concentrations performed over 12 or 24 hour periods on 60 rural Gambian women. The complex pattern of within-feed and between-feed changes in fat concentration was largely explained by differences in volume per feed and time interval between feeds. There were no consistent differences in fat production between the breasts of each individual despite the local custom of beginning all feedings on the right breast. A marked diurnal variation in the mean fat concentration was noted. On average the values were highest in the early morning and lowest in the late afternoon. There was significantly greater between-individual variation in the mean fat concentration per feed over 12 hours. A simple, rational and non-intrusive sampling procedure was devised for the estimation of whole day mean fat levels. It was based on the finding that the mean fat concentration of small samples of milk (0.25 ml) taken from both breasts before and after 1 specific feed of the day was closely correlated with 12 hour and 24 hour mean fat concentrations.

PMID:
7195279
DOI:
10.1079/bjn19810127
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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