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Evaluation of the galactogogue effect of silymarin on mothers of preterm newborns (<32 weeks)

Chiara Peila, Alessandra Coscia, Paola Tonetto, Elena Spada, Silvano Milani, Guido Moro, Carlotta Fontana, Liliana Vagliano, Claudia Tortone, Elisa Di Bella, Enrico Bertino
  • Chiara Peila
    Neonatology Unit, Department of Public Health and Pediatrics, University of Turin, Turin, Italy | chiara.peila@libero.it
  • Alessandra Coscia
    Neonatology Unit, Department of Public Health and Pediatrics, University of Turin, Turin, Italy
  • Paola Tonetto
    Neonatology Unit, Department of Public Health and Pediatrics, University of Turin, Turin, Italy
  • Elena Spada
    Unit of Medical Statistics and Biometry, Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
  • Silvano Milani
    Unit of Medical Statistics and Biometry, Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
  • Guido Moro
    Italian Association of Human Milk Banks, Milan, Italy
  • Carlotta Fontana
    Neonatology Unit, Department of Public Health and Pediatrics, University of Turin, Turin, Italy
  • Liliana Vagliano
    Neonatology Unit, Department of Public Health and Pediatrics, University of Turin, Turin, Italy
  • Claudia Tortone
    Neonatology Unit, Department of Public Health and Pediatrics, University of Turin, Turin, Italy
  • Elisa Di Bella
    Neonatology Unit, Department of Public Health and Pediatrics, University of Turin, Turin, Italy
  • Enrico Bertino
    Neonatology Unit, Department of Public Health and Pediatrics, University of Turin, Turin, Italy

Abstract

Hypogalactia has a relative high frequency in women having delivered preterm infants, who often have difficulties in maintaining a sufficient production of milk for their infants’ needs over prolonged periods of time. Recent studies have shown a potential galactogogue effect of silymarin on milk production in animal models (cows and rats) and in humans (mothers of term newborns); nonetheless, none of the studies conducted on humans consisted of double-blind randomized clinical trials and no data are available concerning mothers who delivered preterm infants. The aim of our study was to assess the efficacy of silymarin (BIO-C®) as galactogogue and its tolerability in mothers who delivered preterm infants. We enrolled 50 mothers at 10±1 days post-partum who had delivered infants at ® and placebo arms. No adverse events were observed in the 2 arms among mothers and infants, and silymarin and its metabolites were not detectable in the analyzed human milk samples. Further investigation on specific patient groups affected by hypogalactia, defined according to stricter criteria, should be planned to assess the efficacy of the product in increasing milk production.

Keywords

Human milk; Galactogogues; Preterm newborn; Breastfeeding

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Submitted: 2015-03-03 12:22:50
Published: 2015-12-29 16:29:09
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Copyright (c) 2015 Chiara Peila, Alessandra Coscia, Paola Tonetto, Elena Spada, Silvano Milani, Guido Moro, Carlotta Fontana, Liliana Vagliano, Claudia Tortone, Elisa Di Bella, Enrico Bertino

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