Is there a link between breast milk nutrients, circadian rhythms, and infant health?

Is there a link between breast milk nutrients, circadian rhythms, and infant health?
Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

The fat content and levels of several key nutrients and hormones in breast milk vary with the mother's circadian rhythm, which may have implications for the timing of breastfeeding and feeding of expressed milk, especially for high-risk infants.

The breast components that demonstrate circadian variation and how this may impact are discussed in an article published in Breastfeeding Medicine.

Robert D. White, MD, author of the article entitled "Circadian Variation of Breast Milk Components and Implications for Care, " concludes that at least some of the macronutrients, hormones, and micronutrients that show circadian variation produce circadian stimuli that can improve the well-being of breastfed infants.

"The data summarized by Dr. White, if confirmed in future studies, will have major implications for the feeding management of high risk infants," says Arthur I. Eidelman, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine.


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More information: Robert D. White, Circadian Variation of Breast Milk Components and Implications for Care, Breastfeeding Medicine (2017). DOI: 10.1089/bfm.2017.0070
Citation: Is there a link between breast milk nutrients, circadian rhythms, and infant health? (2017, September 19) retrieved 22 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-09-link-breast-nutrients-circadian-rhythms.html
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