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Another reason why breastmilk is better than cow’s milk

Two groups of researchers from two dairy countries report about the additional benefits of human milk that other dairy substitutes cannot provide. Swiss and Australian researchers identified special proteins that can help fight gastrointestinal (GI) infection by removing dangerous microbes (e.g. bacteria and viruses) in the GI tract of infants. These two sugar-based proteins called MUC-1 and MUC-4 are not found in cow’s milk. The presence of these proteins in human milk may partly explain the protective properties of breastmilk. The study results will be published in the September issue of the Journal of Proteome Research, an official publication of the American Chemical Society.

In spite of the many studies (see this previous post) indicating the benefits of breastmilk, long-term breastfeeding rate in the US is still low. There are many reasons for this, some of them due to demographics, but also partly due to lack of breastfeeding support from maternity clinics. Even the attitude of some pediatricians may play a role when they push for vitamin supplementation for breastfed babies.

Let’s hope this attitude changes for the sake of future generations.

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