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Human milk composition and infant growth

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Purpose of review

This review highlights relevant studies published between 2015 and 2017 on human milk composition and the association with infant growth.

Recent findings

High-quality studies investigating how human milk composition is related to infant growth are sparse. Recent observational studies show that human milk concentrations of protein, fat, and carbohydrate likely have important influence on infant growth and body composition. Furthermore, some observational studies examining human milk oligosaccharides and hormone concentrations suggest functional relevance to infant growth. For human milk micronutrient concentrations and microbiota content, and other bioactive components in human milk, the association with infant growth is still speculative and needs further investigation. The included studies in this review are all limited in their methodological design and methods but have interesting potential in understanding infant growth.Summary

Available evidence on human milk composition in relation to infant growth is sparse. This review summarizes recent publications investigating human milk composition; including micro- and macronutrients, human milk oligosaccharides, hormones and other bioactive components, and the association with infant weight, length, body mass index, and body composition.
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Keywords: bioactive components; human milk composition; infant growth and body composition; nutrients

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Publication date: May 1, 2018

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