Breastmilk lipids and oligosaccharides influence branched short-chain fatty acid concentrations in infants with excessive weight gain

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Scope: We aimed to identify breastmilk components associated with fecal concentration of SCFAs and to investigate whether they differ between infants with high weight gain (HW) and normal weight gain (NW).

Methods and results: Breastmilk and fecal samples were collected from mother-infant dyads with HW (n = 11) and NW (n = 15) at 5 and 9 months of age. Breastmilk was profiled using an untargeted method on UPLC-qTOF-MS. Fecal SCFAs were quantified using an isotope-labeled chemical derivatization method. Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) were quantified using HPLC after fluorescent derivatization. We found lower levels of α-linolenic acid, oleic acid, 3-oxohexadecanoic acid, LPE (P-16:0), LPC (16:0), LPC (18:0), PC (36:2) in breastmilk from mothers from the HW-group at 5 months of age. Fecal SCFA concentrations were increased during the transition period from breastfeeding to complementary feeding. Fecal butyrate concentration was higher in the NW-group at 9 months of age. Fecal branched SCFAs were positively associated with breastmilk phospholipid levels, free-fatty acid levels, HMO-diversity, sialylated-HMOs, 6'-sialyllactose, and disialyl-lacto-N-hexaose.

Conclusion: Fecal branched SCFA concentrations seem to be affected by breastmilk lipid and HMO composition. These differences in breastmilk phospholipids, α-linolenic acid, and specific HMO structures may partially explain the excessive weight gain in early life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1900977
JournalMolecular Nutrition & Food Research
Issue number3
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Isobutyrate, Isovalerate, 2-methylbutyrate, Gut fermentation, Proteolytic bacteria

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