Milk, medium chain fatty acids and human evolution
Nutritionists, auxologists, and anthropologists have long recognized the important of long chain fatty acids in human milk for child growth and neurological development. However, much less attention has been paid to maternally synthesized medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) in human milk. Here, I argue that the human capacity to produce MCFA have played an important role in the evolution of human milk and the capacity of humans to buffer milk fat from nutritional shortfalls. MCFA may also have important long-term programming effects on infant biology.