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Associations between breast milk intake volume, macronutrient intake and infant growth in a longitudinal birth cohort: the Cambridge Baby Growth and Breastfeeding Study (CBGS-BF).

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Vervoort, Jacques 
van Diepen, Janna A 
Gross, Gabriele 
Petry, Clive J 


Growth patterns of breastfed infants show substantial inter-individual differences, partly influenced by breast milk (BM) nutritional composition. However, BM nutritional composition does not accurately indicate BM nutrient intakes. This study aimed to examine the associations between both BM intake volumes and macronutrient intakes with infant growth. Mother-infant dyads (n 94) were recruited into the Cambridge Baby Growth and Breastfeeding Study (CBGS-BF) from a single maternity hospital at birth; all infants received exclusive breast-feeding (EBF) for at least 6 weeks. Infant weight, length and skinfolds thicknesses (adiposity) were repeatedly measured from birth to 12 months. Post-feed BM samples were collected at 6 weeks to measure TAG (fat), lactose (carbohydrate) (both by 1H-NMR) and protein concentrations (Dumas method). BM intake volume was estimated from seventy infants between 4 and 6 weeks using dose-to-the-mother deuterium oxide (2H2O) turnover. In the full cohort and among sixty infants who received EBF for 3+ months, higher BM intake at 6 weeks was associated with initial faster growth between 0 and 6 weeks (β + se 3·58 + 0·47 for weight and 4·53 + 0·6 for adiposity gains, both P < 0·0001) but subsequent slower growth between 3 and 12 months (β + se - 2·27 + 0·7 for weight and -2·65 + 0·69 for adiposity gains, both P < 0·005). BM carbohydrate and protein intakes at 4-6 weeks were positively associated with early (0-6 weeks) but tended to be negatively related with later (3-12 months) adiposity gains, while BM fat intake showed no association, suggesting that carbohydrate and protein intakes may have more functional relevance to later infant growth and adiposity.



Adiposity, Breast milk, Breast-feeding, Early life, Infant growth, Intake, Macronutrient, Nutrition, Weight gain, Infant, Newborn, Humans, Infant, Female, Pregnancy, Breast Feeding, Milk, Human, Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena, Obesity, Eating, Carbohydrates

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Br J Nutr

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Cambridge University Press (CUP)
MRC (MC_UU_00006/2)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12015/2)