Total antioxidant potential and essential trace metals in the breast milk and plasma of Nigerian human immunodeficiency virus‑infected lactating mothers

Sheu K Rahamon, Ganiyu O Arinola, Moses O Akiibinu


  • Background: The effect of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) on the immune system is well documented however; its impact on the nutritional and immunological qualities of the breast milk is scarce.
  • AIM: Levels of some essential trace metals, albumin and antioxidant status in the plasma and breast milk of Nigerian HIV-infected lactating mothers were determined.
  • Methods: Essential trace metals and total antioxidant potential were measured using spectrophotometric method while albumin was measured using single radial immunodiffusion technique.
  • Results: Only the mean plasma level of albumin in HIV infected lactating mothers (HIM) (9.39 ± 4.46 g/L) was significantly reduced when compared with HIV free lactating mothers (HFM) (26.18± 18.43 g/L, P = 0.000), others had no significant difference. The mean breast milk levels of total antioxidant potential (1776.82 ±564.26 µmolTE/Lvs 2384.67 ± 679.00 µmolTE/L, P = 0.0000), Cu (67.68 ± 5.04 µg/dLvs 71.10 ± 5.45 µg/dL, P = 0.033) and Fe (66.21 ± 6.31 µg/dLvs 71.20 ± 6.48 µg/dL, P = 0.011) were significantly reduced in HIM compared with HFM. No significant differences were observed in other parameters.
  • Conclusion: It could be concluded from this study that hypoalbuminemia is a feature of HIV-infected lactating mothers and that breast milk of HIM has low antioxidant capacity.
  • Keywords: Breast milk, essential trace metals, HIV, lactating mothers, total antioxidant potential

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