Correlation between the content of intermediate chain-length fatty acids and copper in the milk of Fulani women

J. T. Shores, D. J. VanderJagt, M. Millson, Y. S. Huang, R. H. Glew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Intermediate chain-length fatty acids (C10-C14) in human milk triglycerides provide an easily absorbable fuel that provide a significant amount of the energy needed for growth during the first few months of life. The C10-C14 fatty acid and trace mineral content of human milk is variable. In this report we examined the relationship between the content of calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc, and the weight percentage of C10-C14 fatty acids in milk from 33 Fulani women in northern Nigeria between 2 and 24 weeks post-gestation. The milk from these women contained proportions of C10-C14 fatty acids that were comparable to those reported for other populations around the world, as were the concentrations of Ca, Cu, Mg, Mn, Zn and P. Significant correlations were observed between the milk content of Cu and the wt% of C10 (P=0.005, r=0.475), C12 (P=0.001, r=0.539), C14 (P=0.44, r=0.352) and the total intermediate chain-length fatty acids (P=0.008, r=0.450). No correlations were observed between these fatty acids and any of the other five minerals. We speculate that the relationship between Cu and fatty acids could be related to a requirement for Cu by an enzyme required for C10-C14 fatty acid biosynthesis (e.g. decanoyl deacylase) in mammary tissue, or to some unique Cu binding properties of the intermediate chain length fatty acids. (C) 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-207
Number of pages5
JournalProstaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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