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  • Dr.Thomas Lipid Group

Role of lipidomics in assessing the functional lipid composition in breast milk

Updated: Oct 13, 2022

Moganatharsa Ganeshalingam, Samantha Enstad, Sarbattama Sen, Sukhinder Cheema, Flavia Esposito and Raymond Thomas

Accepted 02 September 2022

Figure 3. Schematic diagram of milk fat globule (108). (A) Structure of different types of fatty acids in breast milk triacylglycerol. (B) Structure of cholesterol in breast milk. (C) Structure of phospholipid classes in breast milk. (D) Structure of sphingomyelin in breast milk. (E) Structure of plasmalogen in breast milk. The milk fat globule membrane structure was modified from Mead Johnson Nutrition (108). Structures were created using Chem Draw 16.


Breast milk is the ideal source of nutrients for infants in early life. Lipids represent 2–5% of the total breast milk composition and are a major energy source providing 50% of an infant’s energy intake. Functional lipids are an emerging class of lipids in breast milk mediating several different biological functions, health, and developmental outcome. Lipidomics is an emerging field that studies the structure and function of lipidome. It provides the ability to identify new signaling molecules, mechanisms underlying physiological activities, and possible biomarkers for early diagnosis and prognosis of diseases, thus laying the foundation for individualized, targeted, and precise nutritional management strategies. This emerging technique can be useful to study the major role of functional lipids in breast milk in several dimensions. Functional lipids are consumed with daily food intake; however, they have physiological benefits reported to reduce the risk of disease. Functional lipids are a new area of interest in lipidomics, but very little is known of the functional lipidome in human breast milk. In this review, we focus on the role of lipidomics in assessing functional lipid composition in breast milk and how lipid bioinformatics, a newly emerging branch in this field, can help to determine the mechanisms by which breast milk affects newborn health.

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Mogan 2022 BM fnut-09-899401
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