Differences in Postprandial Lipid Response to Breast- or Formula-feeding in 8-Week-Old Infants

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Lipids play important roles in infant growth and development. In this exploratory observational single-center study, we investigated postmeal responses of infants to dietary lipids and differences between breast-feeding (BF) and formula-feeding (FF).


Two capillary blood samples were collected from each subject, before and randomly assigned at either 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, or 240 minutes after their respective feeding, followed by measurement of lipid-related plasma parameter concentrations using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-based or combined enzymatic and colorimetric methods.


The intermeal interval before testing was shorter in the BF (182.91 ± 22.85 minutes, n = 33) versus FF group (214.1 ± 30.76 minutes, n = 34); BF subjects fed 5 minutes longer (BF 20.27 ± 7.7 minutes; FF 14.82 ± 3.57 minutes). Composite postmeal concentration profiles were generated from 59 plasma sample pairs with sufficient volume (BF = 30): triglyceride (TG) baselines were not different. A TG difference was indicated for BF over FF subjects at 30 minutes, for FF over BF subjects at 60 minutes when corrected for baseline. TG responses in both groups appeared and seemed to clear much faster than those reported for adults. The TG:apolipoprotein B48 (ApoB48) ratio suggests that chylomicrons in BF subjects may carry a higher fat load (P < 0.05), compensated by a higher chylomicron number in FF subjects (P < 0.05). Cholesterol in BF subjects was higher and showed an increase after feeding when corrected for baseline.


Our results indicate that lipids from either BF or FF may be handled differently in young healthy infants.

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