Human milk (HM) provides optimal nutrition and facilitates the infant's transition to extrauterine life by providing immunomodulatory components. The HM nutrient profile is shaped by the maternal genetics and to varying degrees by maternal diet. Protein, lactose, minerals, and trace elements are not affected by maternal nutrition, while fat composition and fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamin content are influenced by maternal diet. Oligosaccharide composition is determined by maternal genetics. Milk of healthy mothers meets the requirements for all nutrients except vitamins D and K and iron, which are recommended to be supplemented to the infant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Food and Health
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780123849533
ISBN (Print)9780123849472
StatePublished - Sep 14 2015


  • Breastfeeding
  • Cytokines
  • Growth factors
  • Hormones
  • Human milk
  • Human milk oligosaccharides
  • Infant formula
  • Lactose
  • Nutrients
  • Protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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