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What's normal? Oligosaccharide concentrations and profiles in milk produced by healthy women vary geographically

McGuire, Michelle K.; Meehan, Courtney L.; McGuire, Mark A.; Williams, Janet E.; Foster, James; Sellen, Daniel W.; Kamau-Mbuthia, Elizabeth W.; Kamundia, Egidioh W.; Mbugua, Samwel and Moore, Sophie E., et al. (2017) In American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 105(5). p.1086-1100
Abstract

Background: Human milk is a complex fluid comprised of myriad substances, with one of the most abundant substances being a group of complex carbohydrates referred to as human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs). There has been some evidence that HMO profiles differ in populations, but few studies have rigorously explored this variability. Objectives: We tested the hypothesis that HMO profiles differ in diverse populations of healthy women. Next, we examined relations between HMO and maternal anthropometric and reproductive indexes and indirectly examined whether differences were likely related to genetic or environmental variations. Design: In this cross-sectional, observational study, milk was collected from a total of 410 healthy,... (More)

Background: Human milk is a complex fluid comprised of myriad substances, with one of the most abundant substances being a group of complex carbohydrates referred to as human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs). There has been some evidence that HMO profiles differ in populations, but few studies have rigorously explored this variability. Objectives: We tested the hypothesis that HMO profiles differ in diverse populations of healthy women. Next, we examined relations between HMO and maternal anthropometric and reproductive indexes and indirectly examined whether differences were likely related to genetic or environmental variations. Design: In this cross-sectional, observational study, milk was collected from a total of 410 healthy, breastfeeding women in 11 international cohorts and analyzed for HMOs by using high-performance liquid chromatography. Results: There was an effect of the cohort (P , 0.05) on concentrations of almost all HMOs. For instance, the mean 3-fucosyllactose concentration was .4 times higher in milk collected in Sweden than in milk collected in rural Gambia (mean ± SEM: 473 6 55 compared with 103 6 16 μmol/mL, respectively; P , 0.05), and disialyllacto-N-tetraose (DSLNT) concentrations ranged from 216 ± 14 μmol/mL (in Sweden) to 870 ± 68 μmol/mL (in rural Gambia) (P , 0.05). Maternal age, time postpartum, weight, and body mass index were all correlated with several HMOs, and multiple differences in HMOs [e.g., lacto-N-neotetrose and DSLNT] were shown between ethnically similar (and likely genetically similar) populations who were living in different locations, which suggests that the environment may play a role in regulating the synthesis of HMOs. Conclusions: The results of this study support our hypothesis that normal HMO concentrations and profiles vary geographically, even in healthy women. Targeted genomic analyses are required to determine whether these differences are due at least in part to genetic variation. A careful examination of sociocultural, behavioral, and environmental factors is needed to determine their roles in this regard. This study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02670278.

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keywords
Breastfeeding, Carbohydrates, Human milk, Lactation, Oligosaccharides
in
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
volume
105
issue
5
pages
15 pages
publisher
American Society for Clinical Nutrition
external identifiers
  • scopus:85020866047
  • wos:000402404900011
ISSN
0002-9165
DOI
10.3945/ajcn.116.139980
language
English
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yes
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33616fb2-51d6-456f-bc84-cab8e2cf0c30
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2017-08-21 11:08:23
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2017-09-18 11:42:16
@article{33616fb2-51d6-456f-bc84-cab8e2cf0c30,
  abstract     = {<p>Background: Human milk is a complex fluid comprised of myriad substances, with one of the most abundant substances being a group of complex carbohydrates referred to as human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs). There has been some evidence that HMO profiles differ in populations, but few studies have rigorously explored this variability. Objectives: We tested the hypothesis that HMO profiles differ in diverse populations of healthy women. Next, we examined relations between HMO and maternal anthropometric and reproductive indexes and indirectly examined whether differences were likely related to genetic or environmental variations. Design: In this cross-sectional, observational study, milk was collected from a total of 410 healthy, breastfeeding women in 11 international cohorts and analyzed for HMOs by using high-performance liquid chromatography. Results: There was an effect of the cohort (P , 0.05) on concentrations of almost all HMOs. For instance, the mean 3-fucosyllactose concentration was .4 times higher in milk collected in Sweden than in milk collected in rural Gambia (mean ± SEM: 473 6 55 compared with 103 6 16 μmol/mL, respectively; P , 0.05), and disialyllacto-N-tetraose (DSLNT) concentrations ranged from 216 ± 14 μmol/mL (in Sweden) to 870 ± 68 μmol/mL (in rural Gambia) (P , 0.05). Maternal age, time postpartum, weight, and body mass index were all correlated with several HMOs, and multiple differences in HMOs [e.g., lacto-N-neotetrose and DSLNT] were shown between ethnically similar (and likely genetically similar) populations who were living in different locations, which suggests that the environment may play a role in regulating the synthesis of HMOs. Conclusions: The results of this study support our hypothesis that normal HMO concentrations and profiles vary geographically, even in healthy women. Targeted genomic analyses are required to determine whether these differences are due at least in part to genetic variation. A careful examination of sociocultural, behavioral, and environmental factors is needed to determine their roles in this regard. This study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02670278.</p>},
  author       = {McGuire, Michelle K. and Meehan, Courtney L. and McGuire, Mark A. and Williams, Janet E. and Foster, James and Sellen, Daniel W. and Kamau-Mbuthia, Elizabeth W. and Kamundia, Egidioh W. and Mbugua, Samwel and Moore, Sophie E. and Prentice, Andrew M. and Kvist, Linda J. and Otoo, Gloria E. and Brooker, Sarah L. and Price, William J. and Shafii, Bahman and Placek, Caitlyn and Lackey, Kimberly A. and Robertson, Bianca and Manzano, Susana and Ruíz, Lorena and Rodríguez, Juan M. and Pareja, Rossina G. and Bode, Lars},
  issn         = {0002-9165},
  keyword      = {Breastfeeding,Carbohydrates,Human milk,Lactation,Oligosaccharides},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {1086--1100},
  publisher    = {American Society for Clinical Nutrition},
  series       = {American Journal of Clinical Nutrition},
  title        = {What's normal? Oligosaccharide concentrations and profiles in milk produced by healthy women vary geographically},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.116.139980},
  volume       = {105},
  year         = {2017},
}