Polyamines in human breast milk Anne Sütünde Poliaminler


Guncel Pediatri, vol.13, no.2, pp.122-126, 2015 (Scopus) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.4274/jcp.44227
  • Journal Name: Guncel Pediatri
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.122-126
  • Keywords: Human milk, polyamine, putrescine, spemidine, spermine, immune system, intestinal maturation
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Human milk is the ideal food for all newborns and infants. It involves macro nutrients and functional compounds for growth and development. The composition of breast milk differs between preterm and term milk. Polyamines are essential for cell proliferation and differentiation. In addition to their de novo polyamine synthesis, cells can take up polyamines from extracellular sources, such as food, and intestinal microbiota. Breast milk is the first source of exogenous polyamines. The level of putrescine is lower than the levels of spermine and spermidine. During lactation, polyamines in breast milk increase in first 1-2 weeks reaching the maximum value and then tend to decrease. The levels of polyamines in breast milk associate with lactation period, sampling time, and mother’s diet. Polyamine intake is important for postnatal maturation of the immune system and small intestine. Cow milk or formulas can be used in case of insufficient breast milk and a requirement for supplemental feeding. Cow milk includes less amount of polyamines than breast milk has. Ideal formula composition involves macro and micro nutrients which take a role in growth and development. The formulas enriched with polyamines might have beneficial effects on the immune system of infants. This review aims to evaluate the functions of polyamines in breast milk, the effects on infant development, and to compare the levels of polyamines in between breast milk, cow milk and formulas.