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Suppressive effects of breast milk on oxidative DNA damage in very low birthweight infants
  1. H Shoji,
  2. T Shimizu,
  3. K Shinohara,
  4. S Oguchi,
  5. S Shiga,
  6. Y Yamashiro
  1. Department of Paediatrics, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Shimizu
    Department of Pediatrics, Juntendo University, School of Medicine, 2-1-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033, Japan;


Background: Human milk contains many kinds of antioxidant and is considered to prevent diseases mediated by oxygen free radicals in very low birthweight (VLBW) infants.

Aims: To examine the antioxidant effects of breast milk in VLBW infants by determining urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) excretion, which is known to be a non-invasive marker for in vivo oxidative DNA damage.

Methods: Urinary 8-OHdG concentrations were measured in 15 breast fed and 14 formula fed VLBW infants at 2, 7, 14, and 28 days of age.

Results: Urinary 8-OHdG excretion at 14 and 28 days of age was significantly lower than at 2 and 7 days of age in the breast fed group, and significantly lower than in the formula fed group.

Conclusion: This is the first direct evidence of the antioxidant action of human milk in VLBW infants.

  • antioxidants
  • 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine
  • milk
  • oxygen free radicals
  • very low birthweight infants
  • 8-OHdG, 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine
  • VLBW, very low birth weight
  • NEC, necrotising enterocolitis
  • CLD, chronic lung disease
  • ROP, retinopathy of prematurity
  • IVH, intraventricular haemorrhage
  • ELISA, enzyme linked immunosorbent assay

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