Circadian macronutrients variations over the first 7 weeks of human milk feeding of preterm infants

Hadar Moran-Lev, Francis B. Mimouni, Amit Ovental, Laurence Mangel, Dror Mandel, Ronit Lubetzky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Little is known about circadian variations of macronutrients content of expressed preterm human milk (HM). This study evaluated diurnal variations of macronutrients and energy content of preterm HM over the first 7 weeks of lactation and tested the hypothesis that values obtained during a morning sample are predictive of those obtained from an evening sample. Materials and Methods: Expressed HM was obtained from 32 mothers of preterm infants (26-33 weeks in gestational age), who routinely expressed all their milk every 3 hours from the beginning of the second to the seventh week after delivery. One aliquot was obtained from the first morning expression and the second from the evening expression. Energy and macronutrients contents were measured using an HM analyzer. Results: Mean fat and energy contents of all samples obtained during the whole period were significantly higher in evening samples (p<0.0001). There were no significant differences between morning and evening carbohydrates and protein contents. Concentrations of protein, carbohydrates, and fat from morning samples were predictive of evening concentrations to different extents (R2=0.720, R2=0.663, and R2=0.20, respectively; p<0.02). The predictability of evening values by morning values was not influenced by the week of lactation at sampling or by individual patients. In repeated-measures analysis of variance performed on 11 patients who completed the whole 7-week period, over time, there was a significant decrease in fat, energy, and protein contents, whereas carbohydrates content remained unchanged. Day-night differences remained significant only for fat content. Conclusions: Circadian variations in fat and energy concentrations of HM are consistent over the first 7 weeks of lactation. There are no consistent circadian variations in HM protein and carbohydrates. Over a given day, there are little variations in protein and carbohydrates content, but fat concentrations are more variable, and evening values are less well predicted by morning sample analysis than values for protein or carbohydrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-370
Number of pages5
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015


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