China’s first breast milk database established

World Today

Researchers in Shanghai have wrapped up a 20-year study of breast milk samples from Chinese mothers, which focused on 130 nutrients and their functions. This study has become China’s first ever breast-milk database.

Over the past 20 years, researchers from Shanghai Children’s Medical Center and Xinhua Hospital have been testing breast milk samples from Shanghai and neighboring regions. Besides the 133 nutrients contained in breast milk, researchers also analyzed the benefits the milk provides for regulating the immune system, antibiotic activity, the development of intelligence, and allergy prevention.

Researchers analyzed the three major nutrients in breast milk — protein, fat and carbohydrates. Compared to mothers from other countries, Chinese breast milk is low in fatty acid. That suggests that Chinese mothers should increase intake of fat in their diet.

The study also talked about storage temperature of breast milk, indicating if breast milk needs to be stored longer than 48 hours, the best temperature is best at negative 20 degrees, and 4 degrees if storing less than 24 hours.

The study also analyzed mothers’ weight in relevance with quality of milk, saying the heavier the weight, the lower the density of one kind of immune element.