<p>Background: The first 6 months of life are a critical window for adiposity programming. Appetite-regulating hormones (ARH) are involved in food intake regulation and might, therefore, play a role in adiposity programming. Studies examining ARH in early life are limited. Purpose: To investigate ghrelin, peptide YY (PYY) and leptin until 6 months and associations with fat mass percentage (FM%), infant feeding and human milk macronutrients. Procedures: In 297 term-born infants (Sophia Pluto Cohort), ghrelin (acylated), PYY and leptin were determined at 3 and 6 months, with FM% measurement by PEAPOD. Exclusive breastfeeding (BF) was classified as BF ≥ 3 months. Human milk macronutrients were analyzed (MIRIS Human Milk Analyzer). Main findings: Ghrelin increased from 3 to 6 months (p &lt; 0.001), while PYY decreased (p &lt; 0.001), resulting in increasing ghrelin/PYY ratio. Leptin decreased. Leptin at 3 months was higher in girls, other ARH were similar between sexes. Leptin at 3 and 6 months correlated with FM% at both ages(R ≥ 0.321, p ≤ 0.001) and gain in FM% from 1 to 6 months(R ≥ 0.204, p = 0.001). In BF infants, also ghrelin and ghrelin/PYY ratio correlated with this gain in FM%. Exclusively BF infants had lower ghrelin and higher PYY compared to formula fed infants at 3 months (p ≤ 0.039). ARH did not correlate with macronutrients. Conclusions: Increasing ghrelin and decreasing PYY, thus increasing ghrelin/PYY ratio, suggests an increasing orexigenic drive until 6 months. ARH were different between BF and FF infants at 3 months, but did not correlate with human milk macronutrients. Ghrelin and leptin, but not PYY, correlated with more FM development during the first 6 months, suggesting that they might be involved in adiposity programming.</p>

doi.org/10.1007/s00394-021-02533-z, hdl.handle.net/1765/136594
European Journal of Nutrition
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam