This article reviews the presence and potential physiological significance of hormones and hormonally active substances (including growth factors) in human milk. Human milk has been found to contain several nonpeptide hormones and many peptide hormones and growth factors. In contrast to human breast milk, infant formulae lack some hormonally active peptides. There is little data concerning the effects of these agents on human neonates. Studies in immature experimental animals showing effects of orogastically administered hormones are summarized. The problems of supplementation of infant formula are discussed. Since hormones are present in the milk as a "cocktail" of potentially agonistic and antagonistic substances, one question is whether supplementation with a single agent would disturb this balance.
"The immaturity of the neonatal gut barrier may also allow for absorption and survival of various hormones from human milk, which would allow milk hormones to systemically influence metabolic development of the infant. Goldman [52,53] and Koldovsky  have reviewed characteristics of the neonatal gastrointestinal tract that would allow for survival of human milk components in this setting, including delayed production of pancreatic proteases and gastric acid, the presence of antiproteases and inhibitors in human milk, and the possible existence of higher permeability in the neonatal gut to macromolecules. Disordered hormone concentrations in human milk during a critical period may lead to sub-optimal development of fundamental regulatory systems in offspring . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Childhood obesity is on the rise and is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes later in life. Recent evidence indicates that abnormalities that increase risk for diabetes may be initiated early in infancy. Since the offspring of women with diabetes have an increased long-term risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes, the impact of maternal metabolic abnormalities on early nutrition and infant metabolic trajectories is of considerable interest. Human breast milk, the preferred food during infancy, contains not only nutrients but also an array of bioactive substances including metabolic hormones. Nonetheless, only a few studies have reported concentrations of metabolic hormones in human milk specifically from women with metabolic abnormalities. We aim to investigate the impact of maternal metabolic abnormalities in pregnancy on human milk hormones and subsequently on infant development over the first year of life. The objective of this report is to present the methodology and design of this study.
The current investigation is a prospective study conducted within ongoing cohort studies of women and their offspring. Pregnant women attending outpatient obstetrics clinics in Toronto, Canada were recruited. Between April 2009 and July 2010, a total of 216 pregnant women underwent a baseline oral glucose tolerance test and provided medical and lifestyle history. Follow-up visits and telephone interviews are conducted and expected to be completed in October 2011. Upon delivery, infant birth anthropometry measurements and human breast milk samples are collected. At 3 and 12 months postpartum, mothers and infants are invited for follow-up assessments. Interim telephone interviews are conducted during the first year of offspring life to characterize infant feeding and supplementation behaviors.
An improved understanding of the link between maternal metabolic abnormalities in pregnancy and early infant nutrition may assist in the development of optimal prevention and intervention strategies and in the protection of nutritionally vulnerable offspring who are at risk for obesity and diabetes later in life.
BMC Public Health 10/2010; 10(1):590. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-10-590 · 2.26 Impact Factor
"However, it is clear that when pups are experimentally separated from their mothers during the postnatal period, they are deprived of more than just the cues associated with maternal care; they are also deprived of maternal milk. Maternal milk contains a wide array of biologically active agents such as cytokines, enzymes, growth factors, prostaglandins, and hormones like prolactin (PRL) (Grosvenor et al., 1992; Koldovsky, 1996; Ellis and Picciano, 1995; Ellis et al., 1996; Grosvenor and Whitworth, 1976; Whitworth and Grosvenor, 1978). It has been proposed that PRL derived from the maternal milk and ingested by the pups during early life acts as a bioactive compound Hormones and Behavior 56 (2009) 281–291 ⁎ Corresponding author. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During early life, prolactin (PRL) ingested by the pups through the milk participates in the development of neuroendocrine, immunological and reproductive systems. The present study tested whether a deficiency in PRL in the dam's milk during early lactation affected the offspring in terms of the maternal responsiveness in the sensitization paradigm and behavioral response to a novel environment in the offspring. Thus, lactating rats were injected (sc) on postnatal days (PND) 2–5 with bromocriptine (125 μg/day), bromocriptine + ovine PRL (125 μg + 300 μg/day), or vehicle. As juveniles (at PND 24) or adults (PND 90–100), one female from each litter was exposed to 5 foster pups continuously for 8 days and their maternal responsiveness was recorded. Female offspring were also tested in an open field arena. Adult, but not juvenile, female offspring of bromocriptine-treated mothers showed an increased latency to become maternal, in comparison to latencies displayed by the offspring of control mothers. Furthermore, the proportion of adult, but not juvenile, offspring of bromocriptine-treated mothers that became maternal was lower than that showed by the offspring of vehicle-treated mothers. In comparison to female offspring of vehicle-treated mothers, female offspring of bromocriptine-treated mothers spent less time hovering over the pups (as juvenile females), body licking (as both juvenile and adult females), and in close proximity to pups (as adult females) during the maternal behavior test. Simultaneous administration of ovine PRL and bromocriptine reversed almost all the negative effects of bromocriptine. These data suggest that maternally-derived PRL participates during the early postnatal period in the development of neural systems that underlie the control of maternal behavior.
Hormones and Behavior 09/2009; 56(3-56):281-291. DOI:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2009.06.005 · 4.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast feeding in infancy may be associated with reduced cardiovascular morbidity in adulthood. We examined the association between breast feeding in infancy and arterial function and structure in adulthood in a population-based cohort of Finnish adults.
Noninvasive ultrasound was used to measure brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) and carotid artery compliance (CAC) in 1667 young adults participating in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study with data on early nutrition.
Maximal FMD was higher in breast-fed men compared to formula-fed men (7.2+/-4.0 vs 5.9+/-3.4%, P=0.029) while no differences were seen between breast-fed and formula-fed women (8.9+/-4.5 vs 8.8+/-5.0%, P=0.84). In men, the multivariable correlates of FMD included the group variable for breast feeding (P=0.014), birth weight (P=0.043), waist circumference (P<0.001) and baseline brachial artery diameter (P<0.001). In women, the multivariable correlates of FMD were birth weight (P=0.02), waist circumference (P<0.001) and brachial artery baseline diameter (P<0.001). Breast feeding was not significantly associated with IMT or CAC in multivariable models.
Adult men who have been breast fed have better brachial endothelial function compared to men who have been formula fed.
European journal of clinical nutrition 03/2008; 63(5):640-5. DOI:10.1038/ejcn.2008.17 · 2.71 Impact Factor
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