Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)


Clinical Nutrition

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

W. Andrew Clark

Committee Members

Eileen Cress, Ron Hamdy


Many factors influence the nutrient composition of breast milk (BRM) particularly within the fatty acids composition. In this study BRM between 2-14 weeks of lactation was collected from 44 Caucasian women (24 normal weight (NW, BMI 18.5-24.9kg/m2) and 20 overweight (OW, BMI >25.0kg/m2). BRM was subjected to proximate analysis and participants completed food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) to estimate fruit, vegetable, and fat intake. BMI differed between NW and OW groups, 22.03 vs 33.86kg/m2 (p0.10) were identified for total calories (5,581.8 vs 5562.9cal/g), %fat (39.6 vs 43.9), or %protein (9.8 vs 8.9) for BRM in NW versus OW women as determined by proximal analysis. Gas chromatography of fatty acid methyl esters demonstrated NW BRM contained higher levels of omega-3, mono-unsaturated, and less palmitic acid fatty acids (p>0.10). The increased palmitic acid level seen in OW BRM may support increased de novo synthesis of fatty acids.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.