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Keywords:

  • lipolysis;
  • free fatty acids;
  • complement system;
  • calcium;
  • magnesium;
  • cytolysis;
  • toxicity

Human milk stored over some period in vitro possesses certain cytotoxic properties, which require further studies. Cytolysis induced by stored human milk has now been further characterized, using rabbit red blood cells as targets, to determine the contribution of other components, particularly the complement system. Cytolysis was found to be temperature dependent, greatly enhanced by low concentrations of magnesium and calcium ions, but inhibited by moderate to excessive amounts of calcium ions, and by heating at 56°C.