Nutritive and bioactive compounds in human milk ­– the gold standard of infant feeding

Macronutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats deliver energy, cellular growth substrates and building blocks for functional components. Human milk contains enough vitamins, minerals and trace elements for the infant. Bioactive compounds in human milk are diverse. Amongst others, functional proteins like enzymes and lactoferrin or human milk oligosaccharides contribute to functional development and provide immune protection.

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Human milk lipids – a paper synopsis

The review "Human milk lipids" (Koletzko 2016) describes functions beyond infants’ needs for energy and micro-essentials, milk fat globule membrane structures, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and other lipophilic bioactive compounds. That may be correlated with cognitive development and immune functions. The author affirms his view that ARA is important for infant development and cautions against products compliant with the European legislation revision (in force since February 2020) until further data on safety of such products is available.

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Baby being breastfed in lying position

The powerful composition of breast milk

Human breast milk is based on a large number of different substances and bioactive compounds. With adapting composition, it naturally matches the individual nutritional needs of the infant and provides an optimal source of nourishment perfectly adapted to every stage of the child’s development. Particularly human milk oligossacharides (HMO) are in the centre of attention, because of their positive effects on child health. 

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