European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 147, Issue 3, pp 292–295 | Cite as

The effect of feeding human milk and adapted milk formulae on serum lipid and lipoprotein levels in young infants

  • V. Wagner
  • H. B. von Stockhausen
Original Investigations


The effect of feeding with human milk and commercially available milk substitutes was studied in a group of 154 healthy infants during the first 3 months of life by assessment of body weight, body length, head circumference, skinfold thickness, serum lipid and lipoprotein concentrations. Human milk and the different milk formulae have the same energy content (kcal/100 ml) and total fat, total protein and total carbohydrate contents are comparable but they differ in respect of their fatty acid compositions. The various diets were chosen freely by the parents and the newborns were exclusively fed either human milk (n=56), Multival 1 (n=31), Humana 1 (n=33), or Pre Aptamil (n=34). No significant differences in body, weight, body length or head circumference were observed between any of the different dietary groups. Fat storage, as assessed by measurements of skinfold thickness, was significantly less in breast-fed children compared to those on the formula diets. Breast-fed and Pre Aptamil-fed infants had the highest levels of total serum cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol and LDL. No differences were observed in the levels of total serum triglycerides, very low density lipoprotein (VLDL)- and high density lipoproteins (HDL)-cholesterol, VLDL and HDL. There were no strong correlations between the physical and the biochemical parameters. No indication of an increased risk of developing atherosclerosis was associated with any of the dietary treatments for the duration of this study. However, these investigations support the hypothesis that subtle early nutritional variation can influence mechanisms that regulate lipoprotein and cholesterol levels in later life.

Key words

Human milk Adapted milk Cholesterol Serum lipids Lipoproteins 



very low density lipoproteins


low density lipoproteins


high density lipoproteins

HMG-CoA reductase

3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Assmann G, Schriever H, Schulte H, Oberwittler W, (1980) Der Stellenwert des HDL-Cholesterin als Risikoindikator der koronaren Gefäßkrankheit. Internist 21:202–212Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Brown MS, Goldstein JL (1975) Lipoprotein receptors and the genetic control of cholesterol metabolism in cultured human cells. Naturwissenschaften 62:385–389Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Brown MS, Goldstein JL (1984) How LDL receptors influence cholesterol and atherosclerosis. Sci Am 251:58–66Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brown MS, Goldstein JL (1986) A receptor-mediated pathway for cholesterol homeostasis. Science 232:34–47Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Carlson LA, Ericson M (1975) Quantitative and qualitative serum lipoproteinanalysis. 2. Studies in male survivors of myocardial infarction. Atherosclerosis 21:435–450Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Carlson SE, De Voe PW, Barness LA (1982) Effect of infant diets with different polyunsaturated to saturated fat ratios on circulating high density lipoproteins. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1:303–309Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Droese W, Pape E, Stolley H (1976) Questions to the supply of young infants with fat and fatty acids. Eur J Pediatr 123:277–292Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Droese W, Pape E, Stolley H (1977) Zur Frage Fett in adaptierten und teiladaptierten Säuglingsmilchnahrungen. Kinderarzt 6:841–842Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fomon SJ, Bartels DJ (1960) Concentration of cholesterol in serum of infants in relation to diet. Am J Dis Child 99:27–30Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Friedmann GF, Goldberg SJ (1975) Concurrent and subsequent serum cholesterol of breast and formula fed infants. Am J Clin Nutr 28:42–45Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ginsburg BE, Zetterstroem R (1980) Serum cholesterol concentrations in early infancy. Acta Paediatr Scand 69:581–585Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Goldstein JL, Brown MS (1984) Progress in understanding the LDL receptor and HMG-CoA reductase, two membrane proteins that regulate the plasma cholesterol. J Lipid Res 25:1450–1461Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kruskal WH, Wallis WA (1952) Use of ranks in one-criterion variance analysis. J Am Stat Assoc 47:583–621Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lang K (1974) Cholesterin In: Lang K (ed) Biochemie der Ernährung. Steinkopf, Darmstadt, pp 140–151Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Liappis N, Schlebusch H, Hildenbrand G (1981) Lipid- und Lipoproteinspektrum im Nüchternserum von gesunden Neugeborenen und Vergleich zu Erwachsenen. Klin Pädiatr 193:444–448Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lindquist B, Malmcrona R (1960) Dietary fat in relation to serum lipids in the normal infant. Am J Dis Child 99:55–63Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mann HB, Whitney DR (1974) On a test of whether one of two random variables is stochastically larger than the other. Ann Math Stat 18:50–60Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Marmot MG, Page CM, Atkins E, Douglas JWB (1980) Effect of breast-feeding on plasma cholesterol and weight in young adults. J Epidemiol Community Health 34:164–167Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    McGandy RB, Hegsted MD, Myers ML (1970) Use of semisynthetic fats in determing effects of spezific dietary fatty acids on serum lipids in man. Am J Clin Nutr 23:1288–1298Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mertz DP (1980) Atherosclerosis index (LDL/HDL): risk indicator in metabolism disorders. Med Klin 75:159–161Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Miller NE (1979) Plasma lipoproteins lipid transport, atherosclerosis: recent developments. J Clin Pathol 32:639–650Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Morrison JA, Larsen R, Glatfelter L, Boggs D, Burton K, Smith CH, Kelly K, Mellies MJ, Khoury PH, Glueck CJ (1980) Interrelationship between nutrient intake and plasma lipids and lipoproteins in schoolchildren aged 6 to 19. The Princeton School District Study Pediatrics 65:727–734Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Mott GE (1986) Deferred effects of breast feeding versus formula feeding on serum lipoprotein concentrations and cholesterol metabolism in babbons. Ross Conf Pediatr Res 91:144–149Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Nestel PJ, Poyser A, Boulton TJ (1979) Changes in cholesterol metabolism in infants in response to dietary cholesterol and fat. Am J Clin Nutr 32:2177–2182Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Pickering D, Fisher D, Perley A, Basinger G, Moon HD (1961) Influence of dietary fatty acids on serum lipids. Am J Dis Child 102:42–51Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Pomerance J, Goalwin A, Slobody L (1958) The effect of a corn oil evaporated milk mixture on serum cholesterol levels in infancy. Am J Dis Child 95:622–625Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Reiser R (1971) Control of adult serum cholesterol by the nutrition of the suckling: a progress report. Circulation 44 [Suppl]:2–3Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Reiser R, Sidelman Z (1972) Control of serum cholesterol homeostasis by cholesterol in the milk of the suckling rat. J Nutr 102:1009–1016Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Shepherd J, Packard CJ, Patsch JR, Gotto AM, Taunton OD (1978) Effects of dietary polyunsaturated and saturated fat on properties of high density lipoproteins and metabolism of apolipoprotein A-I. J Clin Invest 61:1582–1592Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Spearman C (1904) The proof and measurement of association between two things. Am J Psychol 15:72–101Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Stein EA, Shapero J, McNerney C, Glueck CJ, Tracy T, Gartside P (1982) Changes in plasma lipid and lipoprotein fractions after alteration in dietary cholesterol, polyunsaturated and total fat in free living normal and hypercholesterolemic children. Am J Clin Nutr 35:1375–1390Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Van Biervliet JP, Vinaimont N, Caster H, Vercaemst R, Rosseneu M (1981) Plasma apoprotein and lipid patterns in newborns. Influence of nutritional factors. Acta Paediatr Scand 70:851–856Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Van Biervliet JP, Rosseneu M, Caster H (1986) Influence of dietary factors on the plasma lipoprotein composition and content in neonates. Eur J Pediatr 144:489–493Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Wieland H, Seidel D (1978) Fortschritte in der Analytik des Lipoproteinmusters. Inn Med 5:290–300Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Wilcoxon F (1945) Individual comparisons by ranking methods. Biometrics 1:80–83Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Zimmer F, Riebling V, Benke B, Schuster J, Roskamm H (1980) Das LDL-HDL-Verhältnis bei Patienten mit Koronarsklerose. Z Kardiol 69:149–153Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Wagner
    • 1
  • H. B. von Stockhausen
    • 1
  1. 1.Universitäts-KinderklinikWürzburgFederal Republic of Germany

Personalised recommendations