Sialylated oligosaccharides in human milk and feces of preterm, full-term, and weaning infants

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1991 May;12(4):480-4. doi: 10.1097/00005176-199105000-00012.


The amount of free and glycosidically bound sialic acid was quantitated in the oligosaccharide fraction of breast milk from nine women in the 2nd-3rd week of lactation. These amounts showed a certain individual variation but the amount of bound sialic acid was higher than the free sialic acid in each sample. A similar study on the feces from preterm and full-term breast-fed infants revealed that the amount of free sialic acid increased while the bound sialic acid decreased during maturation, which could possibly be a result of increasing activity of an intestinal sialidase in the newborn child. The fecal oligosaccharide patterns in one blood group A secretor breast-fed infant were studied every 2 months during weaning until the age of 1 year. It was seen that the fecal oligosaccharide pattern disappears, along with the blood group A-active compounds, with a corresponding decrease in the amount of breast milk in the diet.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Feces / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn / metabolism*
  • Infant, Premature / metabolism
  • Milk, Human / chemistry*
  • Oligosaccharides / analysis*
  • Sialic Acids / analysis*
  • Weaning


  • Oligosaccharides
  • Sialic Acids