Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and lipid peroxidation products in donor human milk in the U.K.: Results from the LIMIT two-centre cross sectional study

Isabell Nessel, Laura De Rooy, Minesh Khashu, Jane Murphy, Simon Dyall

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Background: Donor human milk is increasingly used as alternative to mother’s own milk to feed preterm infants, however, it may provide less long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA), and more oxidised lipids, which may be detrimental for preterm infant health and development. Levels have not been reported for donor human milk in the U.K.Methods: Donor human milk (n=19) from two neonatal units, milk from preterm mothers from a neonatal unit (n=10), and term mothers from the community (n=11) were analysed for fatty acid, malondialdehyde, 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, and hexanal content. Study registration: NCT03573531Results: Donor human milk had significantly lower absolute LCPUFA content compared to term milk (P<0.001) and significantly lower omega-3 PUFAs than preterm milk (P<0.05), although relative LCPUFA composition did not differ. Exclusive donor human milk feeding leads to significantly lower fat (3.7 vs. 6.7 g/d) and LCPUFA (DHA: 10.6 vs. 16.8 mg/d; ARA: 17.4 vs. 25.2 mg/d) intake than recommended by ESPGHAN, and provides only 17.3% and 43.1% of the in utero accreted ARA and DHA. Donor human milk also had the highest proportion of lipid peroxidation.Conclusions: This study confirms that donor human milk in the U.K. has insufficient levels of LCPUFAs for preterm infants. It demonstrates for the first time that donor human milk has the highest level of lipid peroxidation, compared to preterm or term milk. This has important implications for preterm infant nutrition, as exclusive donor human milk feeding might not be suitable long-term, and may contribute to the development of major preterm neonatal morbidities. 

© 2020, American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. The attached document (embargoed until 11/02/2020) is an author produced version of a paper published in JOURNAL OF PARENTERAL AND ENTERAL NUTRITION uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2020

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