Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.48(6) > 1081419

J Nutr Health. 2015 Dec;48(6):476-487. Korean.
Published online December 31, 2015.
© 2015 The Korean Nutrition Society
Studies of nutrient composition of transitional human milk and estimated intake of nutrients by breast-fed infants in Korean mothers
Yun Kyung Choi,1 Nayoung Kim,1 Ji-Myung Kim,2 Mi Sook Cho,1,3 Bong Soo Kang,4 and Yuri Kim1,3
1Department of Clinical Nutrition, The Graduate School of Clinical Health Sciences, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 03760, Korea.
2Food and Nutrition Major, Division of Food Science and Culinary Arts, Shinhan University, Uijeongbu 11644, Korea.
3Department of Nutritional Science and Food Management, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 03760, Korea.
4U2 Bio Co. Ltd., 68, Geoma-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul 05755, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-2-3277-4485, Email:
Received September 10, 2015; Revised October 21, 2015; Accepted December 03, 2015.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



This study was conducted to examine the concentration of nutrients in transitional breast milk from Korean lactating mothers and to evaluate daily intakes of their infants based on the Dietary Reference Intakes for Koreans 2010 (KDRIs 2010).


Breast milk samples were collected at 5~15 days postpartum from 100 healthy lactating Korean mothers. Macro- and micro-nutrients, and immunoglobulin (Igs) concentrations in breast milk were analyzed.


The mean energy, protein, fat, and carbohydrate concentrations in breast milk were 59.99 ± 8.01 kcal/dL, 1.47 ± 0.27 g/dL, 2.88 ± 0.89 g/dL, and 6.72 ± 0.22 g/dL. The mean linoleic acid (LA), a-linolenic acid (ALA), arachidonic acid (AA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) concentrations were 181.44 ± 96.41 mg/dL, 28.15 ± 8.89 mg/dL, 5.67 ± 1.86 mg/dL, and 5.74 ± 2.57 mg/dL. The mean vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, and folate concentrations were 2.75 ± 1.75 µg/dL, 2.31 ± 1.12 ng/dL, 0.74 ± 1.54 mg/dL, 3.02 ± 1.84 mg/dL, 7.51 ± 20.96 µg/dL, 61.78 ± 26.78 µg/dL, 63.71 ± 27.19 ng/dL, and 0.52 ± 0.26 µg/dL. The mean concentrations of calcium, iron, potassium, sodium, zinc, and copper were 20.71 ± 3.34 mg/dL, 0.59 ± 0.86 mg/dL, 66.71 ± 10.35 mg/dL, 27.72 ± 10.16 mg/dL, 0.44 ± 0.41 mg/ dL, and 70.48 ± 30.41 µg/dL. The mean IgA and total IgE concentrations were 61.85 ± 31.97 mg/dL and 235.00 ± 93.00 IU/dL. The estimated daily intakes of infants for protein, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, iron, potassium, sodium, zinc, and copper were sufficient compared to KDRIs 2010 adjusted by transitory milk intakes. The estimated infants' intakes of energy, fat, carbohydrate, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1, folate, and calcium did not meet KDRIs 2010 adjusted by transitory milk intakes.


In general most estimated nutrient intakes of Korean breast-fed infants in transitory breast milk were sufficient, however some nutrient intakes were not sufficient based on KDRIs 2010. These results warrant conduct of future studies for investigation of important dietary factors associated with nutrients in breast milk to improve the quality of breast milk, which may contribute to understanding nutrition in early life and promoting growth and development of breast-fed infants.

Keywords: breast milk; concentration; intakes; infants


Table 1
General characteristics of the subjects and their baby (n = 100)
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Table 2
Instrumental conditions and parameters for vitamin analysis in human milk
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Table 3
Instrumental conditions parameters for copper and zinc analysis in human milk
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Table 4
Concentration of nutrients in human milk (n=100)
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Table 5
Daily human milk intakes estimation of infant and comparison with KDRI1) (n = 100)
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Table 6
Comparison of nutrients levels in human milk during transitory (5 ~ 15 days after parturition) in referred similar Korean study
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This research was supported by U2 Bio Co. Ltd.

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