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The digestion and absorption characteristics of human milk phospholipid analogs: a combination study between in vitro and in vivo .

Food & Function 2023 November 16
Phospholipids play a crucial role in the growth and neurodevelopment of infants. Currently, soybean phospholipids (SPLs) are the common phospholipid component in most infant formulas (IFs), which, however, shows an obvious difference with the phospholipid (PL) composition of human milk fat. Therefore, in the present study, human milk phospholipid analogs (HMPAs) were prepared by mimicking the composition of PE, PC, PI, PS, and SM in breast milk phospholipids and the composition of the major fatty acids (C16:0, C18:0, C18:1, and C18:2), and their digestion and absorption characteristics were explored using in vitro and mice models. The prepared HMPA contained 26.48% PE, 24.64% PC, 36.19% SM, 6.35% PI, and 6.32% PS, with 40.51% C16:0, 17.02% C18:0, 29.19% C18:1, and 13.26% C18:2, showing different digestive properties relative to SPL. There was little effect on the physical and chemical properties of HMPA under in vitro gastric conditions. The hydrolysis degree, fatty acids release rate, and average particle size decreasing rate of HMPA was significantly higher than that of SPL during digestion in vitro intestine ( P < 0.05), showing better digestive process relative to SPL. In terms of the mice model, HMPA had a higher hydrolysis degree in the intestinal tract. Based on the area under curve (AUC) analysis of serum fatty acids, it was found that despite HMPA being absorbed at a slower rate than SPL, it was absorbed more than SPL. In summary, the digestion and absorption of HMPA were preferred to SPL, and these obtained results might provide a theoretical basis for the development and utilization of HMPA in IF.

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