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Breast Milk Promotes Beneficial Growth

According to a new study published as an epub ahead of print in the journal Current Nutrition & Food Science this week, breast milk promotes more beneficial growth of gut flora.  These colonies of friendly bacteria that help absorb nutrients and develop the immune system may explain why it is better than formula at protecting newborns from infection and illness.

Senior author William Parker, associate professor of surgery at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, in the US, told the press: “Only breast milk appears to promote a healthy colonization of beneficial biofilms, and these insights suggest there may be potential approaches for developing substitutes that more closely mimic those benefits in cases where breast milk cannot be provided,” he explained.

This study has also established that breast-milk feeding reduces diarrhea, flu, and respiratory infections in babies, and lowers their risk of developing allergies, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other diseases later in life.