Most of us know that breastmilk is evolutionarily designed for your baby. Some new studies suggest that breastmilk contains a strain of bacteria that protects your babies gut against harmful bacteria that may wreak havok inside your babies digestive system.
The complex sugars were long thought to have no biological significance, even though they constitute up to 21 percent of milk. Besides promoting growth of the bifido strain, they also serve as decoys for noxious bacteria that might attack the infant’s intestines. The sugars are very similar to those found on the surface of human cells, and are constructed in the breast by the same enzymes. Many toxic bacteria and viruses bind to human cells by docking with the surface sugars. But they will bind to the complex sugars in milk instead. “We think mothers have evolved to let this stuff flush through the infant,” Dr. Mills said. –Breast Milk Sugars Give Infants a Protective Coat-by Nicholas Wade New york Times August 2, 2010
By NICHOLAS WADE
Published: August 2, 2010
Here is a great read from the New York Times.