Nesfatin-1 in Human Milk and Its Association with Infant Anthropometry

Karina D. Honoré*, Signe Bruun, Lotte N. Jacobsen, Magnus Domellöf, Kim F. Michaelsen, Steffen Husby, Gitte Zachariassen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Breastfed infants have different growth patterns to formula-fed infants and are less likely to develop obesity later in life. Nesfatin-1 is an anorexigenic adipokine that was discovered in human milk more than a decade ago, and its role in infant appetite regulation is not clear. Our aim was to describe nesfatin-1 levels in human milk collected 3–4 months postpartum, associations with infant anthropometry, and factors (maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (mBMI), high weight gain during pregnancy, milk fat, and energy content) possibly influencing nesfatin-1 levels. We hypothesized that nesfatin-1 levels in mother’s milk would differ for infants that were large (high weight-for-age Z-score (WAZ)) or small (low WAZ) at the time of milk sample collection. We used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to detect the nesfatin-1 concentration in milk samples from mothers to high WAZ (n = 50) and low WAZ (n = 50) infants. We investigated associations between nesfatin-1 levels and infant anthropometry at 3–4 months of age and growth since birth, using linear regression adjusted for mBMI, birth weight, infant sex, and exclusivity of breastfeeding. We found no difference in nesfatin-1 levels between the two groups and no association with infant anthropometry, even after adjusting for potential confounders. However, high nesfatin-1 levels were correlated with low mBMI. Future research should investigate serum nesfatin-1 level in both mothers, infants and associations with growth in breastfed children.

Original languageEnglish
Article number176
Issue number1
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

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  • appetite regulation
  • human milk components
  • infant anthropometry
  • nesfatin-1
  • obesity


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