Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators in Preterm Human Breast Milk

Project: Research project

Project Details


Breast milk protects premature babies from diseases such as infections and can lower the severity of diseases while these babies are cared for in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU). Molecules called specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPM, may be part of the reason breast milk is protective. SPM are made from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. SPM work by appropriately turning off inflammation after it has started, so that inflammation does not continue. We will collect breast milk from women who delivered prematurely and quantify SPM in their milk. We will also examine whether levels of SPM in breast milk appear to affect premature infants' health, such as how well they tolerate feedings and how frequently they become ill while in the NICU. When this project is done, we will!) understand the natural history of SPM in breast milk among mothers who deliver preterm, and 2) lay the foundation for deciding whether supplementation of women with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids might be an effective way to improve SPM levels in breast milk. These results will help our goal of improving the health of premature babies through nutrition.
Effective start/end date9/1/143/31/16


  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (AGMT #925514-NU // AGMT #925514-NU)
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital (AGMT #925514-NU // AGMT #925514-NU)


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