Assays for endogenous components of human milk: comparison of fresh and frozen samples and corresponding analytes in serum.

Research paper by Erin P EP Hines, Jennifer L JL Rayner, Randy R Barbee, Rae Ann RA Moreland, Andre A Valcour, Judith E JE Schmid, Suzanne E SE Fenton

Indexed on: 05 May '07Published on: 05 May '07Published in: Journal of human lactation : official journal of International Lactation Consultant Association


Breast milk is a primary source of nutrition that contains many endogenous compounds that may affect infant development. The goals of this study were to develop reliable assays for selected endogenous breast milk components and to compare levels of those in milk and serum collected from the same mother twice during lactation (2-7 weeks and 3-4 months). Reliable assays were developed for glucose, secretory IgA, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-a, triglycerides, prolactin, and estradiol from participants in a US EPA study called Methods Advancement in Milk Analysis (MAMA). Fresh and frozen (-20 degrees C) milk samples were assayed to determine effects of storage on endogenous analytes. The source effect (serum vs milk) seen in all 7 analytes indicates that serum should not be used as a surrogate for milk in children's health studies. The authors propose to use these assays in studies to examine relationships between the levels of milk components and children's health.