Human Milk Antioxidative Modifications in Mastitis: Further Beneficial Effects of Cranberry Supplementation.
Mastitis is the inflammation of one or several mammal lobes which can be accompanied by a mammary gland infection, and is the leading cause of undesired early weaning in humans. However, little information exists regarding the changes that this disease may induce in the biochemical composition of human milk, especially in terms of oxidative status. Given that newborns are subject to a significant increase in total ROS burden in their transition to neonatal life and that their antioxidant defense system is not completely developed, the aim of this study was to evaluate antioxidant defense (glutathione peroxidase (GPx), reduced glutathione (GSH), total polyphenol content (TPP), and total antioxidant capacity (TAC)) in milk samples from mothers suffering from mastitis and controls. We also measured the oxidative damage to lipids (malondyaldehyde (MDA)) and proteins (carbonyl group content (CGC)) in these samples. Finally, we tested whether dietary supplementation with cranberries (a product rich in antioxidants) in these breastfeeding mothers during 21 days could improve the oxidative status of milk. GPx activity, TPP, and TAC were increased in milk samples from mastitis-affected women, providing a protective mechanism to the newborn drinking mastitis milk. MDA concentrations were diminished in the mastitis group, confirming this proposal. Some oxidative damage might occur in the mammary gland since the CGC was increased in mastitis milk. Cranberries supplementation seems to strengthen the antioxidant system, further improving the antioxidative state of milk.