Background/Aim: Human milk sialic acids has been proposed as a bioactive compound promoting immune function, gut maturation and neurodevelopment of the newborn. Porcine milk however, has received little attention. The aims of the present study were to quantify and compare the levels of N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac), N- glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) and ketodeoxynonulpsonic acid (KDN) in sow milk during course of lactation.
Method: Milk samples from 22 sows were collected by manual expression on 3 occasions, day 1 (colostrum), day 3 (transition milk) and day 15-21 (mature milk) respectively. The concentration of Neu5Ac, Neu5Gc and KDN were analyzed using UHPLC.
Results: Sow milk contained significant amounts of Sia with the highest concentration found in colostrum (1238.50 mg/L) followed by transition milk and then mature milk. Neu5Ac was the major form of Sia (93-96%) and then Neu5Gc (3-6%), KDN however contained as little as 1-2%. This distribution was common to each milk fraction and to each time point in lactation.
Conclusions: porcine milk contained a rich source of sialylated glycoconjugate. The predominately form of sialic acid is Neu5Ac. The high concentrations of Sia in porcine milk suggest that Sia is an important nutrient that may contribute to the optimization of immune function, neurodevelopment and growth and development of piglets.
Funding source: International Postgraduate Research Scholarships for Marefa Jahan, and Charles Sturt University