The study justifies further investigation into the role of the metabolite in breast milk and the need for its inclusion in infant formula.
A recent study published in Nutrients1 investigated the presence of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) in human breast milk via metabolomic analysis. Researchers quantified the metabolite in breast milk and compared that to its presence in other biofluids, including cord blood plasma, maternal plasma, aging adult plasma, and cerebrospinal fluid. Researchers also analyzed its presence in infant milk formula. Results showed that SAMe concentration was significantly higher in breast milk compared to other biofluids and absent in infant formula.
“Our data indicate a high concentration of SAM in breast milk, which may suggest a strong demand for this metabolite during infant early growth while its absence in infant milk formulas may indicate the inadequacy of this vital metabolic nutrient,” the researchers write. They go on to explain that SAMe is “an important metabolite that participates in multiple critical reactions for infant development, including phosphatidylcholine, polyamine, and carnitine biosynthesis, or DNA and protein methylation.”
“This study is unique for SAMe, and its findings can have a tremendous way for developing safe and effective supplement products for pregnant and lactating women,” says Lorena Carboni, product manager of Adonat Premium SAMe by Gnosis by Lesaffre. “As a leader in the production of this nutritional ingredient known as Adonat, we seek to promote and explain its deep portfolio of science to help consumers and manufacturers discover all its benefits and fields of application. The study of metabolomics may in fact represent a new way of understanding how this substance is used by our bodies and suggests that there is still much to be discovered.”
The researchers point out that while infant formula is rich in methionine, which can be converted to SAMe, this conversion is mostly limited to the hepatic tissue, whereas central nervous system tissue has a limited capacity to convert methionine. They also observed that the concentration of SAMe in breast milk are close to the peak plasma concentrations following oral administration of enteric-coated SAMe tablets. “This may provide some assurance that levels of breast milk SAM may not increase substantially after oral supplementation,” the researchers write. “However, further studies are required to determine if repeated chronic oral supplementation of SAM results in accumulation and higher levels in breast milk.”
Ultimately, the study justifies further investigation into the role of the metabolite in breast milk and the need for its inclusion in infant formula.