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Sugars in Human Mother’s Milk Are Nontoxic Antibacterial Agents

In a stunning discovery, scientists have found antibacterial properties in the carbohydrates — sugars — of human mothers’ milk. What’s even more exciting is that these compounds are nontoxic, unlike most pharmaceutical antibiotics, according to Research News at Vanderbilt University. Researchers said they made the discovery when they decided to look at the sugars in the milk, as opposed to studying the proteins.

This news is wonderful validation for what most mothers already know: that the breast is best when it comes to feeding your baby. Along with the new science, earlier studies show that people who were breastfed as infants not only have lower rates of chronic and infectious diseases and score higher on intelligence tests, but had increased intelligence, longer schooling and higher earning as adults.

Unfortunately, science is still struggling with the word “natural” to describe breast-feeding — hence, the need to continually confirm “scientifically” why breast milk is best, and what properties breast milk has that makes it best.

In truth, contrary to what infant formula companies want you to believe, breast milk is the perfect food for the human infant as it contains all the nutrients vital for healthy growth and development, plus beneficial microbes that promote a healthy gut microbiome. But it also benefits the moms: Studies show that less than 11 percent of those who breastfed for 10 months or longer had atherosclerotic plaques, a risk factor for heart disease.

Additionally, in the short term, nursing helps a woman shed that extra "baby weight" she put on during pregnancy, enhances maternal behavior through increased release of oxytocin, and may even help reduce the risk of diabetes and certain cancers.
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