Another Triumph for Breast Milk
Another good reason why breast milk is good for your baby- A recent study in mice shows that breastfeeding does indeed protect babies from airborne allergens that can cause asthma and allergic airway diseases.
Two sets of breastfeeding mice were tested. One set was exposed to the airborne allergen ovalbumin and another set wasn`t. Babies of exposed breastfeeding mice fared much better than babies of unexposed mice when ?challenged? with the same allergen.
Thus, it seems airborne allergens can be transferred from mother to newborn through breast feeding. This exposure through the breast milk can induce antigen-specific tolerance in the babies that protects them from developing airway allergies such as asthma. The transforming growth factor (TGF) which is found in breast milk seems to play an important role in this tolerance induction.
Nature Reviews Immunology 8, 168 (March 2008) | doi:10.1038/nri2277