Turkish Archives of Pediatrics
Review

Breast milk stem cells: Are they magic bullets in neonatology?

1.

Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Marmara University School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey

Turk Arch Pediatr 2021; 56: 187-191
DOI: 10.5152/TurkArchPediatr.2021.21006
Read: 342 Downloads: 228 Published: 30 April 2021

Each mammal produces milk specific to its newborn that meets all nutritional needs. Breast milk is not only a secretory product but is also a complex liquid containing several components that provide enteral nutrition. The stage of lactation, the fullness of the breast, the feeding of the baby, and the health of the mother during the breastfeeding period cause differences in the composition of breast milk. Although the positive effects of breast milk on the physical and intellectual development of a child in the short and long term have been known for centuries, its mechanism has not been elucidated. Stem cells are defined as the cells that possess specific markers and have not undergone differentiation. Under suitable conditions and stimuli, they can differentiate into desired cells. The detection of stem cells, whose exact origin is not known, in breast milk and their demonstration in the baby’s body have prompted the necessity of exploring the possible role of stem cells in the treatment of diseases. In this review, breast milk-derived stem cells and their possible role in neonatology are discussed.

Cite this article as: Kersin SG, Özek E. Breast milk stem cells: are they magic bullets in neonatology? Turk Arch Pediatr 2021; 56(3): 187-91.

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