Conclusions

Short-term patterns of variation for milk fat content are largely determined by infant feeding pattern and are therefore different between women. These results, when combined with the short-term variability in FA composition, emphasise the importance of appropriate sampling protocols. In addition, they suggest that the average fat content and FA composition of human milk quoted in the literature are oflittle value when assessing energy andFAintakes ofindividual breastfed infants. Furthermore, changes inmilk production, fat content and composition over the long-term have highlighted that variation in the percentage composition of individual FA may not always translate to variation in the amount delivered to the infant and that milkproduction and fat content have to be taken into account.

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