Lower levels of human milk adiponectin predict offspring weight for age: a study in a lean population of Filipinos

Justine Anderson, Kassielle McKinley, Jason Onugha, Paulita Duazo, Meytal Chernoff, Elizabeth A. Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Prior studies have reported a significant, inverse association between adiponectin in human milk and offspring growth velocity. Less is known about this association in populations characterised by a loss of weight for age z-scores (WAZs) in early life. We investigated the association between maternal body composition and milk adiponectin in a sample of Filipino mothers. We then tested for an association between milk adiponectin and size for age in their infants. A total of 117 Filipino mothers nursing infants from 0 to 24 months were recruited from Cebu, Philippines. Anthropometrics, interviews and milk samples were collected and analysed using standard protocols. Mean milk adiponectin in this sample was 7.47 ± 5.75 ng mL−1. Mean infant WAZ and weight for length (WLZ) decreased with age. Maternal body composition was not associated with milk adiponectin content. Milk adiponectin had a significant, positive association with infant WAZ and WLZ. Prior reports have found an inverse association between milk adiponectin and infant WAZ. Here, we report that in lean populations with lower milk adiponectin, there is a positive association with infant WAZ, possibly reflecting pleiotropic biological functions of adiponectin for post-natal growth. This study increases the understanding of normal biological variation in milk adiponectin and the consequences of low levels of milk adiponectin for offspring growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)790-800
Number of pages11
JournalMaternal and Child Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • adiponectin
  • breast milk
  • human milk
  • infant growth


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