AD in Breastfed Infants Correlated With Lower Caprylate and Acetate Levels in Breast Milk

Breast milk (BM) with lower caprylate and acetate levels is associated with infant atopic dermatitis (AD), according to a recent study published in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology.

Researchers aimed to investigate fatty acid levels in BM composition and their influence on AD development in exclusively breastfed infants. The study investigators enrolled 2- to 4-month-old infants who were exclusively breastfed and evaluated the objective SCORing Atopic Dermatitis (objSCORAD). The BM lipid layer was analyzed with gas chromatography.

A total of 47 infants with AD and 47 controls were included in the study. The objSCORAD in the AD group was 20.5 ± 1.7. Palmitate and monounsaturated fatty acid levels in BM were positively correlated with objSCORAD, whereas caprylate, acetate, and short-chain fatty acid levels were negatively correlated. The caprylate and acetate levels were associated with AD in infants.

“Caprylate and acetate levels in BM for exclusively breastfed infants were negatively associated with objSCORAD. Lower caprylate and acetate in BM might be the risk factors for infantile AD, while butyrate in BM was not associated with infantile AD,” concluded the study authors.


—Jessica Garlewicz 



Wang LC, Huang YM, Lu C, et al. Lower caprylate and acetate levels in the breast milk is associated with atopic dermatitis in infancy. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2022;33(2):e13744. doi:10.1111/pai.13744

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