Prostaglandins are present in breast milk and may protect and maintain intestinal epithelial cell integrity in developing mammals. In view of their very short half-life in other body tissues and fluids, studies were performed to determine prostaglandin stability in milk and gastric fluid. Tritiated prostaglandins E2 and F2α were incubated for 30 min in whole milk, milk cells, and milk plasma obtained from mothers delivering at term and prematurely, and in preterm infant gastric fluid. Radioactivity chromatographic analysis revealed minimal degradation of PG in milk preparations and gastric fluid. Thus, milk may serve as an effective natural medium for PG delivery to the gastrointestinal tract. The cyto-protective effect of prostaglandins on the gastrointestinal tract may be related to their stability and lack of degradation in milk and gastric digestive juices.
- Gastric fluid
- Human infant
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental Biology