Breast milk not only nourishes your baby, but also fights harmful bacteria. Here’s how
Breast milk not only provides the complete form of nutrition for your baby but it also has a compound that fights infections by allowing beneficial bacteria to thrive, claim researchers.
Human breast milk has more than 200 times the amount of glycerol monolaurate (GML) than is found in cow milk. GML is inexpensive to manufacture. Future research will determine if GML could be a beneficial additive to cow’s milk and infant formula.
“Our findings demonstrate that high levels of GML are unique to human breast milk and strongly inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria,” said Donald Leung, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics at the National Jewish Health and senior author on the paper titled -- ‘Scientific Reports’.
“While antibiotics can fight bacterial infections in infants, they kill the beneficial bacteria along with the pathogenic ones,” said Patrick Schlievert, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and first author.
“GML is much more selective, fighting only the pathogenic bacteria while allowing beneficial species to thrive. We think GML holds great promise as a potential additive to cows’ milk and infant formula that could promote the health of babies around the world,” added Patrick Schlievert.
After determining that human breast milk contains much higher levels of GML than does cows’ milk, the researchers showed that human breast milk inhibits the growth of the pathogenic bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Clostridium perfringens, while neither cows’ milk nor infant formula had any effect.
When researchers removed the GML from human breast milk, it lost its antimicrobial activity against S aureus. When they added GML to cow milk, it became antimicrobial.
The researchers also showed that GML inhibits inflammation in epithelial cells, which line the gut and other mucosal surfaces. Inflammation can damage epithelial cells and contribute to susceptibility to both bacterial and viral infections.
Schlievert and Leung have applied for a patent for the use of GML as a beneficial additive to cow milk and infant formula.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed. )
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Seal your midweek sugar cravings with a healthy treat including the goodness of a superfood with this super easy recipe of strawberry chia pudding. Check out the health benefits of this delicious dessert inside
- Want to be healthy with a flavour explosion in your mouth? Try this mouthwatering recipe of Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce that will keep you coming back for more
- Leaving fans hooked with her saree chronicles, Janhvi Kapoor serves another sensuous look from Manish Malhotra’s collection in an ivory-coloured six yards of elegance as she promotes her upcoming film ‘Roohi’ on Day 4
- Vidya Balan recently dolled up for an e-interview and we love everything about retro-chic vibe. From her dove grey asymmetric kurta to smart narrow pants, we can’t wait to recreate the delightful silhouette as we walk into spring-summer
- Want to set mercury soaring when going for lunch or an evening out? Take fashion cues from Aditi Rao Hydari’s romantic steamy look for The Girl on The Train promotions in a pink strappy twisted bustier teamed with wide-leg pants that look flirty enough to add drama to our summer closet
- Vicky Kaushal recently shared a new fitness video in which the actor can be seen doing extremely tough box jumps. However, it was the background music in the clip that impressed his followers.