Serum levels of bile salt-stimulated lipase and breast feeding

Raanan Shamir*, Alain Nganga, Drora Berkowitz, Eric Diamond, Sophie Lischinsky, Dominique Lombardo, Naim Shehadeh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Bile salt-stimulated lipase (BSSL) is present in the sera of healthy humans, may affect lipoprotein structure and composition, and reduce atherogenicity of oxidized LDL-cholesterol. Our aims were to examine serum levels of BSSL in breast- and formula-fed infants, and explore the influence of BSSL on serum lipid profile and oxidative status. Methods: Infants (2-8 weeks old) were prospectively enrolled. Blood was drawn for serum levels of BSSL, total antioxidant status (TAS), and lipid profile. Results: Serum levels of BSSL were similar in breast-fed (0.28 ± 0.15 μg/l, n = 18) and formula-fed (0.31±0.09 μg/l, n = 15) infants, and were much lower than reported levels for adults. In breast-fed infants only, BSSL levels were correlated with LDL-cholesterol serum levels (r = -0.53, p = 0.04). Total cholesterol (119.2 ± 34.3 mg/dl vs 97 ± 27.2, and p = 0.05) and LDL-cholesterol serum levels (50.5 ± 26.1 mg/dl vs 33.3 ± 20.3, p = 0.05), were elevated in breast-fed compared with formula-fed infants, but TAS was similar in both groups (1.02 ± 0.18 mmol/l and 0.98 ± 0.12 mmol/l, respectively). Conclusions: Lack of difference in BSSL serum levels between formula- and breast-feeding, and lower BSSL levels in infants compared to adults, suggest that human milk does not contribute to BSSL serum levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1289-1294
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Human milk
  • Infant
  • Lipase
  • Lipoproteins
  • Oxidation


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