“Should I breastfeed my infant or rely on a processed formula?” Such is a question mothers have been asking themselves for decades, but will probably ponder no more. This is because a University student’s experiment supports previous research concluding that breast milk really is the best.
In early February, first year Bioscience student Victoria Catherine posted a photo to Facebook revealing her latest experiment. There’s no way she could have predicted it would garner as much attention as it did.
The photograph below shows 9 Petri dishes containing the bacteria M. Luteus. The white spots in the middle are discos that were soaked in two samples of breastmilk.
“See the clear bit around the discs- that’s where the proteins in the milk have inhibited the bacteria! I’m so excited!!!” she wrote. According to the student, the breast milk also protected against E. coli put up one heck of a fight against the dreaded “superbug” MRSA.
To her surprise, the post went viral. The amount of attention prompted her to add, “I’m doing this for my microbiology research project. The first sample(BmA)is from a mother feeding a 15 month old and the second(BmB) is from a mother feeding a 3 year old. I’m also doing colostrum in a couple of weeks.”
Though the results of Catherine’s Petri dish project surprised many, the truth that breast milk protects infants from illness is well-documented. “The incidences of pneumonia, colds and viruses are reduced among breastfed babies,” concluded Ruth Lawrence, M.D., a professor of pediatrics and OB-GYN at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, N.Y., and the author of Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession.
There are other benefits to breastfeeding, as well. Science has shown that breastfeeding infants reduces their risk of sudden infant death syndrome by about 50 percent. Other studies have concluded that breastfed infants are more resistant to gastrointestinal infections, such as diarrhea (which can be deadly in third-world countries). Last, but not least, it has been shown that breastfed babies have a lower likelihood of developing diseases, including Type I diabetes, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease, later in life.
Clearly, there are benefits to breastfeeding. As Catherine wrote, “The future is bright, the future is breastmilk”!
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Source: Return to Now