Vitamin C is reduced in human milk after storage

Acta Paediatr. 2001 Jul;90(7):813-5.


In order to establish how cold storage of human milk affects levels of bioavailable vitamin C, 11 samples were stored for 24 h in the refrigerator or up to 2 mo in the freezer. Total vitamin C levels decreased on average by one-third in the refrigerator or after I mo of freezing, with wide variations between individuals (6 to 76% and 3 to 100%, respectively). After 2 mo of freezing, the average decrease was two-thirds (7-100%).

Conclusion: We recommend a change in human milk storage practices, to under 24 h in a refrigerator or under 1 mo in a freezer. Alternatively, vitamin C supplementation may be considered.

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid / analysis*
  • Drug Stability
  • Female
  • Freezing
  • Humans
  • Milk, Human / chemistry*
  • Refrigeration / adverse effects*
  • Refrigeration / methods
  • Time Factors


  • Ascorbic Acid