Human milk is a complex fluid that has developed to satisfy the nutritional requirements of infants. In addition to proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and other biologically active components, breast milk contains a diverse microbiome that is presumed to colonize the infant gastrointestinal tract and a heterogeneous population of cells with unclear physiological roles and health implications. Noteworthy cellular components of breast milk include progenitor/stem cells. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge of breast milk cells, including leukocytes, epithelial cells, stem cells and potentially probiotic bacteria.
Keywords: Human breast milk; Leukocytes; Microbiome; Probiotic bacteria; Stem cells.