Breast milk microRNAs harsh journey towards potential effects in infant development and maturation. Lipid encapsulation can help
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The possibility that diet-derived miRNAs survive the gastrointestinal tract and exert biological effects in target cells is triggering considerable research in the potential abilities of alimentary preventive and therapeutic approaches. Many validation attempts have been carried out and investigators disagree on several issues. The barriers exogenous RNAs must surpass are harsh and adequate copies must reach target cells for biological actions to be carried out. This prospect opened a window for previously unlikely scenarios concerning exogenous non-coding RNAs, such as a potential role for breast milk microRNAs in infants’ development and maturation. This review is focused on the thorny path breast milk miRNAs face towards confirmation as relevant role players in infants’ development and maturation, taking into consideration the research carried out so far on the uptake, gastrointestinal barriers and potential biological effects of diet-derived miRNAs. We also discuss the future pharmacological and pharma-nutritional consequences of appropriate miRNAs research. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd
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