Galactogogues and breastfeeding



DOI 10.1007/s13749-015-0034-9

Maria Wilinska, Ekkehard Schleussner

Reduced breast milk production (called hypogalactia) is the most frequent cause of breastfeeding failure. For this reason, physicians need to provide information regarding best practices for breastfeeding and, if necessary, they should indicate methods to support breast milk production, for example the use of galactogogue medications, making sure that these problems do not lead to cessation of breastfeeding. Galactogogues are synthetic or plants molecules able to induce, maintain and increase milk production in women. The most frequently used natural galactogogue products include galega and silymarin. Unfortunately, all herbal extracts are characterised by low solubility with poor bioavailability and for this reason, in order to increase the absorption and efficacy of silymarin, a new formulation was developed and used as a delivery system: Silitidil®, a phytosome composed of silymarin and phospholipids. Silitidil® is able to improve the bioavailability of silymarin, in comparison with pure silymarin and micronised silymarin. Moreover, a recently published pharmacological study from Capasso et al. has evaluated the effect of Silitidil® and the association of Silitidil® plus Galega officinalis on prolactin blood levels in mature female Wistar rats, versus control and micronised silymarin. Silitidil® plus Galega officinalis showed improved bioavailability and prolactin plasma levels compared with the oldest formulations of silymarin. Based on available data, this formulation could be considered a safe and effective natural product able to improve daily breast milk production in healthy women after delivery, without affecting milk quality.