Oligosaccharides in colostrum of Italian and Burkinabe women.

Musumeci M, Simpore J, D’Agata A, Sotgiu S, Musumeci S.

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2006 Sep ;43(3):372-8.
PMID : 16954962 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



Human milk contains a large number of compounds to provide nutrition and defense for the newborn. Among these, oligosaccharides are present in concentrations up to 12 g/L, and their composition varies during lactation. Colostrum from 53 Burkinabe women were collected at the maternity department of St Camille Medical Centre in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso, West Africa). Colostrum from 50 Italian women were collected at the maternity department of St Bambino Hospital in Catania (Catania, East Sicily, Italy). All mothers spontaneously delivered at term. Italian mothers received an injection of the ergot derivative ergotamine after delivery. Ergotamine, notoriously, delays breastfeeding initiation up to 2 to 3 days. Chromatographic separation of colostrum from both Burkinabe and Italian women showed a progressive appearance of oligosaccharides in the first 3 days. Burkinabe women showed high concentrations of 2-fucosyllactose and lower concentrations of lacto-N-fucopentaose I. By contrast, Italian women showed inverted behaviour. A comparable percentage of the secretor genotype for the Lewis blood group phenotype in both Burkinabe and Italian women was found. According to the different ethnicity, different milk oligosaccharide profiles were documented in the present study. 2-Fucosyllactose in milk should be biologically significant for Burkinabe infants because of the high levels found in their mothers’ colostrum after the second day of lactation.

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