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The impact of environmental pollution on the quality of mother's milk

Pajewska-Szmyt, Martyna, Sinkiewicz-Darol, Elena, Gadzała-Kopciuch, Renata
Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.8 pp. 7405-7427
bioactive compounds, breast feeding, breast milk, cadmium, children, cytokines, endocrine system, heavy metals, hypersensitivity, immune system, immunomodulators, lead, lipophilicity, neonates, neurodevelopment, pollutants, pollution, polychlorinated biphenyls, toxic substances
Breastfeeding is a gold standard of neonate nutrition because human milk contains a lot of essential compounds crucial for proper development of a child. However, milk is also a biofluid which can contain environmental pollution, which can have effects on immune system and consequently on the various body organs. Polychlorinated biphenyls are organic pollutants which have been detected in human milk. They have lipophilic properties, so they can penetrate to fatty milk and ultimately to neonate digestive track. Another problem of interest is the presence in milk of heavy metals—arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury—as these compounds can lead to disorders in production of cytokines, which are important immunomodulators. The toxicants cause stimulation or suppression of this compounds. This can lead to health problems in children as allergy, disorders in the endocrine system, end even neurodevelopment delay and disorder. Consequently, correlations between pollutants and bioactive components in milk should be investigated. This article provides an overview of environmental pollutants found in human milk as well as of the consequences of cytokine disorder correlated with presence of heavy metals. Graphical abstract