TABLE 6-1 Estimates of the Concentrations of Nutrients in Mature Human Milk

Nutrient

Amount in Human Milka

Nutrient

Amount in Human Milka

 

g/liter ± SDbb

 

µg/liter ± SD

Lactose

72.0 ± 2.5

Vitamin A, REd

670 ± 200

Protein

10.5 ± 2.0

 

(2,230 IUe)

Fat

39.0 ± 4.0

Vitamin D

0.55 ± 0.10

 

mg/liter ± SD

Vitamin K

2.1 ± 0.1

Calcium

280 ± 26

Folate

85 ± 37f

Phosphorus

140 ± 22

Vitamin B12

0.97g,h

Magnesium

35 ± 2

Biotin

4 ± 1

Sodium

180 ± 40

Iodine

110 ± 40

Potassium

525 ± 35

Selenium

20 ± 5

Chloride

420 ± 60

Manganese

6 ± 2

Iron

0.3 ± 0.1

Fluoride

16 ± 5

Zinc

1.2 ± 0.2

Chromium

50 ± 5

Copper

0.25 ± 0.03

Molybdenum

NRi

Vitamin E

2.3 ± 1.0

 

 

Vitamin C

40 ± 10

 

 

Thiamin

0.210 ± 0.035

 

 

Riboflavin

0.350 ± 0.025

 

 

Niacin

1.500 ± 0.200

 

 

Vitamin B6

93 ± 8c

 

 

Pantothenic acid

1.800 ± 0.200

 

 

a Data taken from the Committee on Nutrition (1985), unless otherwise indicated. The values are representative of amounts of nutrients present in human milk; some of them may differ slightly from those reported by investigators cited in the text.

b SD = Standard deviation.

c From Styslinger and Kirksey (1985), a study of unsupplemented women.

d RE = Retinol equivalents.

e IU = International units.

f From Brown et al. (1986a).

g From Sandberg et al. (1981).

h Standard deviation not reported; range 0.33 to 3.20.

i NR = Not reported.

Variation with Length of Gestation

There are substantial differences between the milk of mothers who deliver preterm and those who deliver at full term. The subcommittee has focused on lactating mothers of full-term infants; therefore, these differences are only briefly summarized here. During the first 3 to 4 days of lactation, preterm milk (the milk secreted by mothers who delivered prematurely) has higher protein, sodium, and chloride concentrations and lower lactose concentrations than milk secreted by mothers of full-term infants. While some investigators report higher fat concentrations in preterm milk (Anderson et al., 1981; Guerrini et al., 1981),



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement