Nitric Oxide Metabolites and Asymmetric Dimethylarginine Concentrations in Breast Milk

Hakan Öztürk
Esin Koç
Taner Özgürtaş
Fatih Yeşildal
Ebru Kazancı
Meltem Aksu
Ebru Kudret Özcan
İbrahim Murat Hirfanoğlu
Esra Önal
Canan Türkyılmaz
Ebru Ergenekon
Yıldız Atalay
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Objective: Nitric oxide plays a preventive role in the development of necrotizing enterocolitis. Oral nitrite and nitrate intake has gained importance with the discovery of the conversion of nitrite to nitric oxide in acidic medium out of the synthesis of nitric oxide from L-arginine.

Objective of this study was to examine the breast milk concentrations of nitric oxide and asymmetric dimethylarginine which is a competitive inhibitor of nitric oxide and to compare these concentrations in terms of gestational age and maturity of breast milk.

Study Design: Forty-one women were included in the study. Milk samples were collected from 3 groups of mothers as term, late preterm and preterm on the postpartum days 3, 7 and 28.

Results: When breast milk concentrations of nitric oxide were compared according to the postnatal day of the milk independently from gestational age; nitric oxide concentration was higher in the colostrum than in the transition milk and mature milk (p=0,035; p=0,001; respectively). For the comparison of asymmetric dimethylarginine concentrations among these groups and days; no statistically significant difference was observed in terms of gestational age and maturity of the milk (p=0.865, p=0.115; respectively).

Conclusion: The highest nitric oxide concentration was found in the colostrum, suggesting that colostrum is a valuable food for newborns. Plasma concentrations of asymmetric dimethylarginine were negatively correlated with nitric oxide and did not show a correlation with breast milk, suggesting that asymmetric dimethylargininedoesn’t make nitric oxide inhibition in breast milk.


Breast milk, Nitric oxide, Asymmetric dimethylarginine


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