Comparative Lipid Profiles of Milk Bank Breast Milk and Infant Formulas

Anya Oleynik, Tatiana Eliseeva, Jack Y. Vanderhoek*
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, The George Washington University, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC 20037

© 2013 Oleynik et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Lipid profiles of seven human breast milk samples obtained from milk banks and four infant formulas were compared in view of the potential food hypersensitivities of certain infants to human milk.The cholesterol (0.15-0.26 mM) content of the human samples was about 50% lower than that found in the infant formulas whereas the triglyceride (TG, 173-386 mM) contents of these products were found to be comparable.The major saturated fatty acid (SFA) and mono-unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) were 16:0 and 18:1 respectively. The major poly-unsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) was 18:2 with other PUFA members of the C18, C20 and C22 families identified and quantified. Although conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) was not detected in any infant formulas tested, no other major differences in the fatty acid patterns were found. However, the mean (13.6) of the ratio of n-6 PUFAs/n-3 PUFAs in the human milk samples was about 50% higher than that observed in the infant formula samples.Although our results indicate that there are small yet significant differences in cholesterol and CLA content and the ratio of n-6 PUFAs/n-3PUFAs, the lipid composition of milk bank breast milk and infant formulas is quite comparable.

Keywords: cholesterol, CLA, fatty acids, human, milk, PUFA, triglycerides.