Skip to comments.Breast Milk Sugars Give Infants a Protective Coat
Posted on 08/03/2010 9:08:33 PM PDT by neverdem
A large part of human milk cannot be digested by babies and seems to have a purpose quite different from infant nutrition that of influencing the composition of the bacteria in the infants gut.
The details of this three-way relationship between mother, child and gut microbes are being worked out by three researchers at the University of California, Davis Bruce German, Carlito Lebrilla and David Mills. They and colleagues have found that a particular strain of bacterium, a subspecies of Bifidobacterium longum, possesses a special suite of genes that enable it to thrive on the indigestible component of milk.
This subspecies is commonly found in the feces of breast-fed infants. It coats the lining of the infants...
The complex sugars, for instance, are evidently a way of influencing the gut microflora, so they might in principle be used to help premature babies, or those born by caesarean, who do not immediately acquire the bifido strain. It has long been thought there was no source of the sugars other than human milk, but they have recently been detected in whey, a waste byproduct of cheesemaking. The three researchers plan to test the complex sugars for benefit in premature infants and in the elderly.
The proteins in milk also have special roles. One, called Alpha-lactalbumin, can attack tumor cells and those infected by viruses by restoring their lost ability to commit cell suicide. The protein, which accumulates when an infant is weaned, is also the signal for the breast to remodel itself back to normal state.
Such findings have made the three researchers keenly aware that every component of milk probably has a special role. Its all there for a purpose, though were still figuring out what that purpose is, Dr. Mills said. So for Gods sake, please breast-feed.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Yeah, but it’s fattening and will be banned by Michelle so babies don’t get obese.
Absolutely fascinating. Who knew? Even the scientists are surprised at what they have found.
My wife's certainly was. Most babies lose weight in the hospital. Both of ours gained.
More about it's qualities, respondent saith not. :)
Exactly, the scientists are merely verifying the reasons for imprinted neonatal response. Or to put it punnily. The science is too DRY for me! LOL!
Gee, you mean God got it right the first time? Who knew?
“Out of the mouth of infants and of sucklings thou hast perfected praise,” Psalm 8:2
I nursed my 9 lb first son for 9 months, the first 5 exclusively. He was 15 lbs after 2 months, but then slowed down a lot. Those first months he was hungry every 2 hours, except for 2 4-hour spells. Then he dropped to 4 feedings a day. Interestingly, his stools had very little oder until other food was introduced, and then became stinky. Same with his brother whom I nursed for over 2 years. I also read Adelle Davis’ book “Let’s have healthy children”, made my own baby food for them to eat after I returned to work. Also only let them eat candy 4 times a year.
The firstborn is now 40, in Special Forces, built like a brick outhouse, and has never had a single cavity. His younger brother is not as robust, but has only had one cavity. I urge all mothers to nurse their babies as long as possible. The son I nursed over two years stopped after we passed through the tensions of “the terrible twos”. I think his very warm affectionate nature was affected by the fact that although we had our conflicts during the day, he always ended the day being close and loved and loving.
Ping... (thanks, neverdem!)
Thanks for the ping!