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Hypaphorine Is Present in Human Milk in Association with Consumption of Legumes

Keller, Bernd O., Wu, Brian T. F., Li, Stephanie S. J., Monga, Vishakha, Innis, Sheila M.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2013 v.61 no.31 pp. 7654-7660
amines, breast milk, chickpeas, excretion, fluorometry, foods, human nutrition, lactating women, lactation, lentils, metabolism, milk, peanuts, rodents, tryptophan
In metabolomic analysis of human milk amines, we found a previously unidentified compound. This was tentatively identified as hypaphorine, an indole alkaloid composed of tryptophan and three methyls, and with neurological and glucose-lowering effects in rodents. Hypaphorine identity was confirmed by hypaphorine synthesis, and then a fluorometric method was developed to quantify hypaphorine in milk and foods. Using dietary records, we identified peanut products as probable sources of hypaphorine. Milk from 24 lactating women showed widely varying hypaphorine, with a mean ± SD 0.34 ± 0.33 μM, and the highest concentration of 1.24 μM. Peanuts showed high hypaphorine of 70 μg/g compared to 60 and 100 μg/g in dried chickpeas and lentils. Dietary challenge in lactating women with hypaphorine-rich foods demonstrated transfer of hypaphorine into milk with hypaphorine appearance peaking 5–18 h after consumption and prolonged disappearance indicative of slow excretion or metabolism. The potential functional roles of hypaphorine in human nutrition remain to be addressed.