• Breastfeeding woman;
  • Human milk;
  • Infants;
  • Onion;
  • Quercetin


The exposure to quercetin (Q) has not been studied in breastfed infants whose mothers were consuming a Q-rich diet. The objective of the study was to determine whether plant-origin antioxidant-Q passes from the mother's diet to her milk and to calculate the pharmacokinetic parameters of this phenomenon.

Methods and results

Eleven breastfeeding women were included in this controlled case study. Volunteers followed a Q-restricted diet for 5 consecutive days with the exception of the 3rd day when they received a single meal providing 1 mg of Q per kg of body weight. Urine analysis showed the presence of Q already in the first collected samples after the test (1.5–4 h), which indicated its rapid absorption from the meal. The Cmax = 68 ± 8.44 nmol/L concentration of Q in the milk was calculated for Tmax = 11.89 ± 3.37 h. It was significantly different (p = 0.007) from 40 nmol/L and (p = 0.016) from 42 nmol/L of Q concentration before and 48 h after the test, respectively.


Q was shown to be a component of human milk at the nmol/L level. Infants breastfed by mothers consuming a diet rich in Q are exposed to a dose of approximately 0.01 mg of Q daily.