Human breastmilk contains thousands of distinct components, many working in collaboration with each other in ways that are not yet understood. Amongst these are molecules that protect against infection and inflammation, teaching the immune system how to recognise friend from enemy. Stem cells from the mother pass into the baby and lodge in organs throughout the body – we don’t know why they are there, or whether it is an accident. Sugars produced by the mother that are only found in human milk help to feed bacteria that create a healthy gut microbiome. Recent science has suggested that not only gut development, but brain development may depend on these bacteria and sugars.
The science behind human milk is truly astounding. We believe that by helping this knowledge to spread beyond the lab, parents can make more informed choices about how they feed their baby, and we can work towards improving the health of mothers everywhere.
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New insights into human milk science are developing weekly as research advances. Follow our news page to get updates as they happen.Human milk news