Human Milk Macronutrients Content: Effect of Advanced Maternal Age

Ronit Lubetzky, Orna Sever, Francis B. Mimouni, Dror Mandel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Little is known about the effect of advanced maternal age upon macronutrients of human milk. This study was designed to study contents of macronutrients (fat, lactose, and protein) in human milk collected in the first 2 weeks of life in older (≥35 years) compared with younger (<35 years) mothers. Subjects and Methods: Seventy-two lactating mothers (38 older, 34 younger) of newborns were recruited within the first 3 days of delivery. Macronutrient contents were measured at 72 hours, 7 days, and 14 days after delivery using infrared transmission spectroscopy. Results: The groups did not differ in terms of maternal prepregnancy weight, height, and diet or infant birth weight or gestational age. They differed significantly in terms of maternal age and maternal weight after pregnancy. Fat content in colostrum and carbohydrate content in mature milk were significantly higher in the older mothers group. Moreover, carbohydrates in mature milk correlated positively with maternal age. Fat content at an infant age of 7 days and 2 weeks was not affected by maternal age. There was no significant relationship between maternal body weight for height (or body mass index) and energy, protein, fat or lactose content at any stage. Conclusions: Fat content of colostrum and carbohydrate content of mature milk obtained from mothers with advanced age are elevated compared with those of younger mothers. Moreover, there is a positive correlation between maternal age and carbohydrate content in mature milk. The biological significance of our findings is yet to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-436
Number of pages4
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 2015


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