Breastfeeding Babies: Breastmilk Induces Different Genes
I love these new studies. More scientists are taking a long hard look at why breastfeeding babies are so much healthier. A group of Illinois scientists have made a remarkable discovery: breastmilk generates genetic pathways that significantly differ from formula-fed infants.
Fundamental genes that regulate the development of the intestine and provide immune defense for the infant were among the many differences found by these scientists. Sharon Donovan, a University of Illinois professor of nutrition says:
Although both breast-fed and formula-fed babies gain weight and seem to develop similarly, scientists have known for a long time that breast milk contains immune-protective components that make a breast-fed infant's risk lower for all kinds of illnesses.
The intestinal tract of the newborn undergoes marked changes in response to feeding. And the response to human milk exceeds that of formula, suggesting that the bioactive components in breast milk are important in this response.
What we haven't known is how breast milk protects the infant and particularly how it regulates the development of the intestine," she said.... Now we'll be able to get a complete picture of what's happening in an infant -- from the composition of the diet to the microbes in the gut and the genes that are activated along the way.
These same scientists are hoping to use this information to improve formula. Why? Why not put your energies and money into improving breatsfeeding support, rates and duration? I'll be interested in hearing what Best for Babes has to say about this.
Read more about this study...
Have you had trouble breastfeeding? Did others convince you that formula is equal to breastmilk? Did you struggle to make enough milk for your baby? Don't beat yourself; how could you have known or done anything different? Breastfeeding in a formula world is nearly impossible for some mothers. James Brown says "It's a Man's World"; I say "It's a Formula World", but that's not going to stop us from dividing and conquering.
Learn and gain confidence and find REAL help the next time around. And if you don't have a second chance? Spread the good news to those having babies now. Use your grieving and/or anger as passion to educate.
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