Polyamines are present in human breast milk and are thought to facilitate maturation of the gut in infants. Researchers from the University of Murcia, in Spain, recently published a study revealing the differences between the level of polyamines in the breast milk of mothers born to preterm infants and the breast milk of mothers with infants born term. The level of polyamines was tested in colostrums, transition and first month breast milk.
Concentrations were higher in the preterm population for both colostrums and transition, but a significant difference was noted in first month breast milk. Levels were 7560 preterm and 4660 term, as a group average. The same difference was noted in individual testing.
Conclusion: The level of polyamines in preterm breast milk is significantly higher than term breast milk leading researchers to believe the milk is designed to mature the preterm gut faster.
Source: Plaza-Zamora J, Sabater-Molina M, Rodríguez-Palmero M, Rivero M, Bosch V, Nadal JM, Zamora S, Larqué E. Polyamines in human breast milk for preterm and term infants. Br J Nutr. 2013 Jan 3:1-5.