Human milk metabolic hormones: Analytical methods and current understanding

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Human milk (HM) contains a wide array of peptide hormones including leptin and adiponectin, which are involved in the regulation of infant growth and development. These essential hormones might play an important role in the regulation of metabolic reprogramming of the newborn infant. However, HM hormone studies are sparse and heterogeneous in regard to the study design, sample collection, preparation and analysis methods. This review discussed the limitations of HM hormone analysis highlighting the gaps in pre-analytical and analytical stages. The methods used to quantify HM metabolic hormones (leptin, adiponectin, ghrelin, insulin, obestatin, resistin and apelin) can be classified as immunoassay, immunosensor and chromatography. Immunoassay methods (ELISA and RIA) have been predominantly used in the measurement of these HM hormones. The relative validity parameters of HM hormones analysis are often overlooked in publications, despite the complexity and differences of HM matrix when compared to that of plasma and urine. Therefore, appropriate reports of validation parameters of methodology and instrumentation are crucial for accurate measurements and therefore better understanding of the HM metabolic hormones and their influences on infant outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8708
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2021


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