To determine possible effects of fasting on breast milk composition for Muslim mothers during the holy month of Ramadan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).A prospective descriptive study. Muwajihi Primary Health Care (PHC) Clinic, Al-Ain Medical District. 26 healthy nursing mothers were recruited. Their mean age was 27 ± 5 years. Each mother was seen twice by a physician in the morning at the PHC clinic firstly between the second and fourth weeks of Ramadan and secondly two weeks after the end of Ramadan. Before attending the clinic, the mothers had allowed their babies to suckle. At the first visit, the mother was personally interviewed by the doctor and a sample of breast milk was taken for analysis. A second sample was similarly taken at the second visit after Ramadan. For each sample, total fat, protein, lactose, total solids, non-fat solids, triglycerides and cholesterol were measured. No significant differences were seen in the content of major nutrients of milk taken during and after Ramadan. There was a slight increase and a slight decrease respectively in the concentrations of triglycerides and cholesterol after the end of Ramadan, although these changes were also not significant. The present study showed that no major changes occur in the composition of human breast milk as a consequence of reverting to a normal alimentary pattern at the end of Ramadan.
- Breast milk composition
- United Arab Emirates
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics