Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

John T. Landrum

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Richard Bone

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

David Chatfield

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Francisco Fernandez-Lima

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Fenfei Leng

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


carotenoid, fatty acids, human milk, maternal serum, cord blood

Date of Defense



Lipid soluble carotenoids are micronutrients present in human milk that serve as precursors of vitamin A and also play an important role protecting cells from damage arising from photooxidative processes and reactive oxygen species. Fatty acids comprise about 3-5% of human milk and are mainly present as triglycerides. They are a major energy source for the infant and are necessary to support cell growth required for normal development and maturation of critical organs. Transport of carotenoids into milk has been little studied and there has been no previous investigation of the relationship of carotenoid transport with that of individual fatty acid secretion into milk.

In the present study, levels of the carotenoids, lutein, zeaxanthin, b-cryptoxanthin, and b-carotene, in maternal serum, infant cord blood, and milk obtained from 74 Peruvian mothers were measured by HPLC methods. The fat content and fatty acid profile of maternal milk were determined by GC-FID and confirmed by GC-MS. Twenty nine fatty acids were identified and quantified after conversion to methyl esters. Statistical analysis was employed to investigate potential trends and relationships among the carotenoids in all three fluids as well as between carotenoids and fatty acids present.

Concentrations of lutein in maternal serum and milk as well as maternal serum and infant cord blood were highly correlated (r =0.43, p





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