Objectives: To measure concentrations of β-carotene and lycopene in the breast milk of healthy, well-nourished, lactating women supplemented with fresh carrot or tomato paste. Methods: Twelve women were given fresh carrot paste and another 14 were given fresh tomato paste once a day for 3 d with a high-lipid-content meal. The women were instructed to avoid any food containing β-carotene or lycopene, other than the test meal. Milk carotenoid levels were measured before, during, and after the trial. The carrot and tomato meals contained 15 mg of all-trans β-carotene and 15 mg of all-trans lycopene, respectively. Results: We demonstrated a significant increase in milk β-carotene and elevated milk lycopene levels after the lipid-rich fresh carrot and tomato meals, respectively. Conclusions: We suggest that breast milk carotenoid levels reflect the mother's level of intake and can thus be raised by simple nutritional intervention. The results of this study may be relevant to breast-feeding mothers of both preterm and term infants by raising antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties in their milk.
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- Human milk
- Provitamin A