• LC-MS reveals 'unexpected' sugars in breast milk
    Breast milk contains surprising sugar levels, LC-MS research reveals


LC-MS reveals 'unexpected' sugars in breast milk

Aug 18 2010

The abundance of sugars in breast milk is much higher than previously expected, research using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) has revealed.

Scientists at the University of California, Davis, used Agilent Technologies' high performance liquid chromatography polymer chip, combined with quadrupole time-of-flight LC-MS technology, to look at the sugars passed to an infant by its mother.

Human breast milk was found to contain a much higher abundance of sugar than previously known, coating the infant's intestinal lining and helping to protect against bacterial attacks.

Dr Carlito B Lebrilla, co-author of the research, says: "New technology developed by Agilent made it possible to identify and quantitate milk oligosaccharides, providing new and important observations that could not be obtained in the past."

The academic institution has partnered with Agilent on the development of such technology for a number of years and, in 2006, announced the successful use of a glycan chip and time-of-flight mass spectrometer to analyse breast milk, paving the way to the most recent research.

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