There’s a reason breast milk is called liquid gold. Its potent properties envelop your baby in an impenetrable shield of protection.
Know someone who swells up at inhaling a peanut? Or doubles overtaking the tiniest sip of milk? Blame it on the treacherous world of food allergies; a world far too familiar for some.
The truth is, food allergies in babies have become rampant in the past decade, and studies reveal that early childhood nutrition has much to do an important role to play with influencing the onset of such allergies. While you may already know about the multiple advantages of breastfeeding, arresting allergic reactions is one that deserves pride of place in the virtual museum of breastfeeding glory. This article explains why.
How Does Breast Milk Prevent Food Allergies?
Breastfeeding presents infinite value to you and your baby. Not only does it help you bond with your baby, but it also allows you to cast an invisible cloak of immunity, protection and nourishment in your little one’s early days. By breastfeeding your baby, you’re unwittingly fortifying their immune system, coaching it to combat allergic reactions and inuring it against allergens. Research suggests that certain complex sugars in breast milk – namely, human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) – arrest the onset of food allergies in babies by gearing the immune system to combat allergic reactions.
Read More: About Breast Feeding
What Are HMOs?
HMOs are complex sugar molecules found in human breast milk. These complex sugars aren’t digestible by babies, but rather serve as prebiotic agents synbiotic that stimulate the development of gut flora, which in turn, ward off allergies. The volume of HMOs in breast milk varies from woman to woman, based on factors like gestational age and lactation stage.
What Does the Research Say?
A University of California, San Diego study, conducted in partnership with Canadian researchers, surveyed 421 infants on the effects of breastfeeding. It found that breastfed babies ran a lower risk of developing health disorders like asthma, wheezing, obesity and infections. In an interesting parallel, a study published by the journal Allergy revealed breastfed infants displayed greater resistance to food allergens. While these markers may hold good through childhood, there is no research to indicate they will indeed endure into adulthood. That said, early immunity is certain to give your child a better chance at life.
Breast milk can serve as a protective halo for your baby, serving as an invisible, invincible gift that will last them a lifetime. It’s the best kind of gold there is.
Must Read: The Importance of Breast Feeding