The Triad Mother-Breast Milk-Infant as Predictor of Future Health: A Narrative Review

Nutrients. 2021 Feb 2;13(2):486. doi: 10.3390/nu13020486.


The benefits of human milk for both mother and infant are widely acknowledged. Human milk could represent a link between maternal and offspring health. The triad mother-breast milk-infant is an interconnected system in which maternal diet and lifestyle might have effects on infant's health outcome. This link could be in part explained by epigenetics, even if the underlining mechanisms have not been fully clarified yet. The aim of this paper is to update the association between maternal diet and human milk, pointing out how maternal diet and lifestyle could be associated with breast-milk composition, hence with offspring's health outcome.

Keywords: breastfeeding; health outcomes; microbiome; nutrition; obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Diet
  • Diet, Vegetarian
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Immunity
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lactation / physiology
  • Life Style
  • Maternal Health
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Milk, Human* / chemistry
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Pregnancy