Diet supplementation during early lactation with non-alcoholic beer increases the antioxidant properties of breastmilk and decreases the oxidative damage in breastfeeding mothers

Breastfeed Med. 2013 Apr;8:164-9. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2012.0059. Epub 2012 Nov 27.


Background: After delivery and birth, mothers and neonates are exposed to oxidative stress. We tested whether supplementing the diet of breastfeeding mothers with non-alcoholic beer, a product rich in antioxidants, could improve their oxidative status and the antioxidant content of their milk. A prospective trial begun on Day 2 postpartum was conducted in mother-infant dyads.

Subjects and methods: Sixty breastfeeding mothers and their infants were allocated to either a control group (n=30) on a free diet or a study group (n=30) on a free diet supplemented with 660 mL of non-alcoholic beer/day. The oxidative status of the mothers' breastmilk, plasma, and urine and the infant's urine was analyzed on Days 2 and 30 postpartum. The before-after difference was compared within and between the groups.

Results: The increase in antioxidant capacity and coenzyme Q10 content in the breastmilk of the study group at Day 30 was higher than in that of the control group (p<0.001). There was also a change in the oxidative status of the mothers' plasma in the supplemented group regarding the control group; higher values of total antioxidant capacity (p<0.05) and lower levels of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (p<0.05), indicative of DNA oxidative damage, were found. These results indicate a positive effect of non-alcoholic beer supplementation on oxidative stress in mothers. However, no difference in oxidant markers was found in the infant's urine.

Conclusions: The consumption of non-alcoholic beer appears to enhance the antioxidant capacity of breastmilk and decrease oxidative damage in breastfeeding mothers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Beer*
  • Breast Feeding* / adverse effects
  • Carbonated Beverages
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lactation / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Milk, Human / chemistry
  • Milk, Human / metabolism*
  • Mothers
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Polyphenols
  • Prospective Studies
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives
  • Ubiquinone / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Polyphenols
  • Ubiquinone
  • coenzyme Q10