Background and Aims Human milk (HM) has a number of antioxidant constituents which may protect newborns against oxidative damage. Poor HM production is the most frequent cause of breastfeeding failure. Galactagogues are believed to stimulate initiation and maintenance of HM production. Herbal tea containing fenugreek has recently been presented in the market. We aimed to compare global oxidant and antioxidant capacity of HM among mothers drinking galactagogue herbal tea or not.
Methods Volunteer mothers 18–35 years of age without any antenatal or perinatal risk factors. Milk samples were collected in the first day after delivery. Mothers were randomly assigned to receive galactagogue herbal tea (Humana still-tee®) 3 cups/day or same amount of water as placebo. Second samples were obtained 7–10 days later. The total antioxidant capacity (TAC), total oxidant status (TOS) and the oxidative stress index (OSI) were compared between groups.
Results Subjects were randomly assigned to herbal tea (n=40) and placebo (n=40) groups. In first and second samples TAC, TOS and OSI were similar in both groups. TAC (p=0.375 and p=0.058) was lower and TOS (p=0.382 and p=0.118) was higher in second samples compared to first samples in both groups but not significantly. In second samples OSI (p=0.024 and p=0.007) increased significantly compared to first day in each group.
Conclusions Galactagogue herbal tea used in this study has no effect on global oxidant and antioxidant status of HM. Oxidative stress index increases in course of lactation compared to colostrum.