Newborns that are fed breastmilk develop a healthier gut in comparison to infants who fed formula milk, revealed researchers from Duke University Medical Center. Therefore this is the yet another reason why mothers should breastfed their newborn baby. Lab tests found that a mother’s milk cultivates distinctive colonies of microbiotic flora that aid nutrient absorption and boost immune system development.
In a bit to analyze the hypothesis, Duke researchers grew bacteria in samples of infant formulas, cow’s milk and breast milk. All three samples were incubated with two strains of E. coli bacteria. They found within minutes, the bacteria began multiplying in all of the specimens, but there was an immediate difference in the way the bacteria grew.
In the breast milk sample, bacteria stuck together to form biofilms, which are thin, adherent layers of bacteria that serve as a shield against pathogens and infections .Bacteria in the samples infant formula and cow’s milk proliferated but it did not aggregate to form a protective barrier.
Lead author Dr William Parker, explained this study providing insight to the mechanisms underlying the benefits of breast feeding over formula feeding for newborns. Only breast milk appears to promote a healthy colonization of beneficial biofilms, and these insights suggest there may be potential approaches for developing substitutes that more closely mimic those benefits in cases where breast milk cannot be provided.
Because, researches have educated more about the role intestinal flora plays in health, they have gained appreciation for how an infant’s early diet can affect this beneficial microbial universe. Previous studies have shown that breast milk lowers the incidence of diarrhoea, influenza and respiratory infections during infancy. It also protects against the later development of allergies, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other illnesses.
The study findings have been published in the journal Current Nutrition & Food Science.