Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1831-1832
Breast milk composition and reference

1 Sanitation 1 Medical Academic Center, Bangkok, Thailand
2 Adjunct Professor, Joseph Ayobabalola University, Nigeria

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Date of Web Publication11-Jan-2018

How to cite this article:
Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Breast milk composition and reference. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1831-2

How to cite this URL:
Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Breast milk composition and reference. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Apr 14];10:1831-2. Available from:

Dear Editor,

To find the reference of breast milk composition is very useful in public health nutrition. A recent report by Grote et al.[1] is very interesting. Grote et al.[1] studied the composition of breast milk and mentioned that “These data provide a reference range of nutrient intakes in breastfed infants and may provide guidance for defining optimal nutrient intakes for infants that cannot be fully breastfed.” In-fact, to use a data as reference, there are also other considerations to be mentioned. The report by Grote et al. is a good example. First, the conditions that cause obstacle for full breastfeeding might affect the physiological status of the infant and there must be the adjustment case by case. Indeed, to set a good reference, the milk analyzed should be derived from women who exclusively breastfed for a minimum of 3 months, and there should be no milk of women included who experienced an “obstacle for full breastfeeding”. The practice of breastfeeding in the studied population studied, thus, is in line with current standard recommendations such as those of European pediatric organizations and breastfeeding committees and EFSA = European Food Safety Authority. In addition, the study should be on both milk composition and the “physiological status of the infant”. Second, formulation of the supplementation based on the present data needs to concern for the stability of the components. It is obviously correct that the supply of unstable nutrients/components needs to consider stability issues. The concern on nutrient supplementation to breastfeeding women, as well as supplementation of breastfed infants are also important. Third, there is an epigenetic interference on the composition of breast milk.[2] Indeed, this fact is based on a global view. Some data implied associated breastfeeding and its duration with epigenetic marks in the recipient infants, but there are very few data on the potential impact of maternal epigenetic markers on human milk composition. In-fact, the different of ethnic and setting might also affect the composition. Physiologically, some important components of human milk including fatty acids, vary with maternal dietary habits and hence with geographic, socioeconomic, and other factors, whereas others (such as lactose) show only a little if any variation across populations around the globe. Nevertheless, the different of ethnic and setting might also affect the composition. International assess on the breastmilk component is required for setting of the reference.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest to declare.

   References Top

Grote V, Verduci E, Scaglioni S, Vecchi F, Contarini G, Giovannini M. et al., Breast milk composition and infant nutrient intakes during the first 12 months of life. Eur J Clin Nutr 2016;70:250-56.  Back to cited text no. 1
Verduci E, Banderali G, Barberi S, Radaelli G, Lops A, Betti F. et al., Epigenetic effects of human breast milk. Nutrients 2014;6:1711-24.  Back to cited text no. 2

Correspondence Address:
Beuy Joob
Sanitation 1 Medical Academic Center, Bangkok
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.188519

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