Sugars in breast milk may act as a replacement for antibodies that aid in the treatment of illnesses in newborns
You’ve probably heard that breastfeeding your baby for at least six months after birth is quite advantageous. It is, after all, one of the most effective strategies to ensure a child’s health.
Breast milk, on the other hand, may be able to protect your infant from illnesses due to its high content of nutritious components. Several studies have found that babies who are breastfed for at least six months have a lower risk of diarrhoea, illness, colds, and flu, among other things. Breast milk contains chemicals that can help reduce the beginning of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) infections in neonates, according to a recent study.
Infections with GBS are a major cause of blood infections, meningitis, and baby stillbirth. Antibiotics can help cure and prevent GBS infections, but the bacteria is becoming more resistant to them. GBS affects roughly 2,000 newborns in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During labor and delivery, the bacteria is frequently transmitted from mother to infant.
A pregnant mother who tests positive for GBS is usually given intravenous antibiotics after labor to help prevent early-onset infections in the first week of life. Late-onset infections (those that appear between one and three months after birth) are more common in formula-fed babies than in breastfed infants, suggesting that breast milk components may help protect against GBS.
Sugars in breast milk can help prevent Group B Streptococcus (GBS) infections in human cells and tissues as well as in animals, according to a study undertaken by researchers at Vanderbilt University in the United States. Short chains of sugar molecules found in breast milk called human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) may be able to treat illnesses in babies and adults without the need for antibiotics.
Researchers looked at how a mix of HMOs from different moms influenced GBS infection of placental immune cells (called macrophages) and the gestational membrane (the sac surrounding the foetus). HMOs were discovered to be capable of completely suppressing bacterial growth in macrophages and membranes.