Associations between human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) and eating behaviour in Hispanic infants at 1 and 6 months of age

Jasmine F. Plows, Paige K. Berger, Roshonda B. Jones, Chloe Yonemitsu, Ji H. Ryoo, Tanya L. Alderete, Lars Bode, Michael I. Goran

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are naturally occurring glycans in human breast milk that act as prebiotics in the infant gut. Prebiotics have been demonstrated to suppress appetite in both adults and children. Therefore, HMOs may affect infant eating behaviour. Objective: To determine if HMOs in breast milk are associated with eating behaviour in Hispanic infants. Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of a prospective cohort of Hispanic mother-infant dyads (1-month, n = 157; 6-months, n = 69). Breast milk samples were screened for 19 HMOs using high pressure liquid chromatography, and eating behaviour was assessed using the Baby Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (BEBQ). We conducted multiple linear regressions to examine associations between HMOs and BEBQ scores, adjusted for maternal pre-pregnancy BMI, infant sex, birthweight, delivery mode and number of breastfeedings per day. We stratified by HMO secretor status—a genetic determinant of the types of HMOs produced. Results: At 1 month, LNnT (lacto-N-neotetraose; P =.04) was negatively associated with food responsiveness in the total sample, while DFLNT (difucosyllacto-N-tetrose; P =.03) and DSLNT (disialyl-LNT; P =.04) were negatively associated with food responsiveness in secretors only. At 6 months, LSTc (sialyllacto-N-tetraose c; P =.01), FLNH (fucosyllacto-N-hexaose; P =.03), LNH (lacto-N-hexaose; P =.006) and DSLNH (disialyllacto-N-hexaose; P =.05) were positively associated with food responsiveness in both the total sample and secretors only. Conclusions: We found several HMOs that were both positively and negatively associated with infant food responsiveness, which is a measure of drive to eat.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12686
JournalPediatric Obesity
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the NIDDK (R01 DK110793 01A1) and the Gerber Foundation. The authors acknowledge Carla Flores, Danielle Garcia, Elizabeth Campbell, Rosa Rangel, Claudia Rios, Emily Leibovitch and the entire Goran Lab for their assistance obtaining this data. The authors would also like to thank Dr Jennifer Fogel for her editing assistance on the manuscript. J.P analysed the data and primarily wrote the manuscript. P.B., R.J., T.A. aided in the interpretation of results and assisted in analysis, J.R. provided statistical insight, C.Y. quantified HMOs, L.B. supervised the HMO analysis and provided insight into HMOs, M.G. conceived of the presented idea and supervised the project. All authors discussed the results and contributed to the final manuscript.

Funding Information:
This work was funded by NIDDK (R01 DK110793) and the Gerber Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 World Obesity Federation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health Policy
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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