Document Detail

Milk from mothers of both premature and full-term infants provides better antioxidant protection than does infant formula.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11978886     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We hypothesized that premature (PT) infants' mother's milk may provide antioxidant advantages compared with milk from mothers of full-term (FT) infants, and human milk may provide antioxidant properties not seen in infant formulas. We designed three experiments to test these hypotheses. Experiment 1 assessed resistance to oxidative stress of human milk and formulas designed for FT and PT infants. Experiment 2 determined differences in resistance to oxidative stress between milk from mothers of FT and PT infants, including analysis of catalase activity. Experiment 3 examined factors in human milk that may account for increased resistance to oxidative stress. In experiment 1, we induced physiologic oxidative stress in human milk (n = 5) and formula (n = 2) and measured ascorbate radical using electron paramagnetic resonance. Results indicated the following: 1) during oxidative stress, ascorbate may be spared in human milk compared with formula; 2) ascorbate radical production is more intense in formula compared with human milk, with or without oxidative stress; and 3) oxygen consumption in human milk is less than that in formula, with or without oxidative stress. In experiment 2, milk samples were collected from mothers of PT (n = 28) and FT (n = 17) infants at wk 1, 2, and 12 of lactation. No differences in oxygen consumption after oxidative stress appeared between PT and FT milk. Catalase levels in human milk increased with time. In experiment 3, addition of catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase to formulas (n = 4) increased resistance to oxidative stress. Denaturing endogenous enzymes did not decrease the ability of human milk to resist oxidative stress. Ferrous sulfate plus vitamin C added to human milk and formulas fortified with iron increased oxidative stress. Addition of iron chelators to formula reduced oxidative stress. In conclusion, human milk has better antioxidant protection than do formulas, perhaps because of the higher iron content of formulas. Milk from mothers of PT and FT infants has equal resistance to oxidative stress.
James K Friel; Sean M Martin; Matthew Langdon; Gene R Herzberg; Garry R Buettner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pediatric research     Volume:  51     ISSN:  0031-3998     ISO Abbreviation:  Pediatr. Res.     Publication Date:  2002 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-04-29     Completed Date:  2002-10-25     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0100714     Medline TA:  Pediatr Res     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  612-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biochemistry, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland, A1B 3X9, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Antioxidants / analysis*,  pharmacology
Ascorbic Acid / analysis
Catalase / analysis
Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
Gestational Age
Glutathione Peroxidase / analysis
Infant Food / analysis*
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature*
Iron / analysis
Milk, Human / chemistry*
Oxidative Stress
Oxygen Consumption
Superoxide Dismutase / analysis
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Antioxidants; 50-81-7/Ascorbic Acid; 7439-89-6/Iron; EC; EC Peroxidase; EC Dismutase

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