UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Concentrations of Water-Soluble Forms of Choline in Human Milk from Lactating Women in Canada and Cambodia Wiedeman, Alejandra M.; Whitfield, Kyly C.; March, Kaitlin M.; Chen, Nancy N.; Kroeun, Hou; Sokhoing, Ly; Sophonneary, Prak; Dyer, Roger A.; Xu, Zhaoming; Kitts, David D.; Green, Timothy J.; Innis, Sheila M.; Barr, Susan I.


Choline has critical roles during periods of rapid growth and development, such as infancy. In human milk, choline is mostly present in water-soluble forms (free choline, phosphocholine, and glycerophosphocholine). It is thought that milk choline concentration is influenced by maternal choline intake, and the richest food sources for choline are of animal origin. Scarce information exists on milk choline from countries differing in animal-source food availability. In this secondary analysis of samples from previous trials, the concentrations of the water-soluble forms of choline were quantified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in mature milk samples collected from lactating women in Canada (n = 301) and in Cambodia (n = 67). None of the water-soluble forms of choline concentrations in milk differed between Canada and Cambodia. For all milk samples (n = 368), free choline, phosphocholine, glycerophosphocholine, and the sum of water-soluble forms of choline concentrations in milk were (mean (95%CI)) 151 (141, 160, 540 (519, 562), 411 (396, 427), and 1102 (1072, 1133) µmol/L, respectively. Theoretically, only 19% of infants would meet the current Adequate Intake (AI) for choline. Our findings suggest that the concentrations in milk of water-soluble forms of choline are similar in Canada and Cambodia, and that the concentration used to set the infant AI might be inaccurate.

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