Adiponectin in breast milk: relation to serum adiponectin concentration in lactating mothers and their infants


Francesco Savino, MD, PhD, Dipartimento di Scienze Pediatriche e dell’Adolescenza, Ospedale Infantile Regina Margherita, Piazza Polonia, 94 10126 Torino, Italy.
Tel: +390113135257 |
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Aims:  The aims of the study were to determine human breast milk adiponectin concentration and to investigate its relationship with serum adiponectin concentration in lactating mothers and their infants and also to evaluate the relationship between serum adiponectin concentration and anthropometric parameters in nurses and infants.

Methods:  We enrolled 60 healthy term breastfed (BF) infants and their lactating mothers. Adiponectin was determined by radioimmunoassay test in serum and by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test in human milk (HM). Infants’ and mothers’ anthropometric parameters were measured.

Results:  Median (25‰, 75‰) adiponectin concentration in HM was 9.99 (3.59, 20.52) ng/mL. Serum adiponectin concentration in infants was 60.49 (45.76, 74.24) μg/mL and in lactating mothers 21.14 (12.61, 29.66) μg/mL. Adiponectin concentration in HM correlated positively with adiponectin in mothers’ serum; r = 0.60 (p < 0.001) and in infants’ serum r = 0.37 (p = 0.015). Adiponectin in HM correlated negatively with infants’ age r = −0.3 (p = 0.04). Infants’ serum adiponectin correlated negatively with their weight r = −0.35 (p = 0.005), length r = −0.35 (p = 0.006) and age r = −0.46 (p < 0.001) and mothers’ serum adiponectin with their weight r = −0.37 (p = 0.02) and body mass index r = −0.45 (p = 0.004).

Conclusions:  The observed correlations between adiponectin in mothers, HM and BF infants may be suggestive for a metabolic link between nurses and infants through milk.