Papaya

Review
In: Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006–.
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Excerpt

Papaya (Carica papaya) fruit contains the proteolytic enzymes papain and chymopapain before ripening, but they are not present in the ripe fruit. Cooked, unripe papaya fruit has been used orally as a galactogogue in India, Melanesia and Angola;[1-4] however, no scientifically valid clinical trials support this use. Galactogogues should never replace evaluation and counseling on modifiable factors that affect milk production.[5,6] Papaya leaves, which contain papain and other enzymes, are also used in some products, but have no known lactation-related uses. No data exist on the excretion of any components of papaya into breastmilk or on the safety and efficacy of papaya in nursing mothers or infants. Papaya fruit is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) as a food by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Papaya also contains carotenoids and can improve beta-carotene and vitamin A status in nursing mothers.[7] Allergic reactions to papaya, such as asthma and skin rashes are not uncommon and cross reaction with other substances such as latex and kiwi have occurred. Those with allergies to papaya or cross reacting substances should avoid papaya.

Publication types

  • Review