Relation Between Human Milk Sodium and Maternal Sodium Intake

Līva Aumeistere (Coresponding Author), Inga Ciproviča, Dace Zavadska, Konstantīns Bavrins, Anastasija Borisova

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Sodium is an essential mineral, necessary for optimal development of an infant. However, its content in human milk is highly variable. The main factors influencing sodium content in human milk
are the concentration of other osmoles (dominantly lactose) and time postpartum. It is still debatable if maternal sodium intake affects sodium content in human milk. Overall, Latvian inhabitants
consume more sodium than recommended. Therefore, we aimed to analyse the relation between
maternal sodium intake and human milk sodium content. In total, 64 human milk samples and
food data from 64 participants were obtained. Sodium content was determined using inductively
coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Food diary data was analysed using Finnish database Fineli.
The results showed that median sodium content in human milk was 12.67 mg per 100 ml–1. Nevertheless, large inter-individual differences were observed (5.00–42.54 mg·100 ml–1). Sodium intake among the participants was higher than the recommended 2000 mg per day (median intake
— 2335.83 mg per day). Although a positive association was found between median maternal sodium intake and sodium content in human milk ( = 0.350, p = 0.010), a hierarchical multiple regression revealed that only infant’s age was a significant factor (p = 0.038), explaining 13% of the
variability of sodium content in human milk. Sodium content in human milk is not influenced directly by maternal sodium intake, and other factors (such as lactose and potassium concentration
in human milk not considered in the study) could potentially influence sodium content in human
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-236
JournalProceedings of the Latvian Academy of Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • lactation
  • breastfeeding
  • nutrition
  • minerals

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences
  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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