While there is no doubt over the benefits of breastfeeding on infants, a recent research has affirmed that such infants are found to be more immune to illness and pathogens. It has been made clear by Robert Chapkin from the Texas A&M University, who led this multi-centre study, that a mother’s milk is highly beneficial for an infant for his or her overall health.
For the research, the team examined the stool samples of 12 recruited infants with 50% of them being given breastfeed while another half was given baby food, and managed to track down the types of bacteria in the babies' guts. It was easy to claim by the team that those breast-fed babies had the immunity to deal with those bacteria which were found in their intestinal tract.
“Our findings suggest that human milk promotes the beneficial crosstalk between the immune system and microbe population in the gut, and maintains intestinal stability”, said Robert Chapkin in the journal Genome Biology.
It has been found after the research that those who were fed with breast milk had may bacteria in their guts as compared to those who were given other baby food, which made it clear that the neonatal period is highly crucial phase of any infant and that’s what can decide on the intestinal digestive development along with colonization by the gut bacteria.
While the study reflected the association between breast-feeding and a healthier infant gut, it is believed that there is a lot more to be studied in the same context to make one understand the extended benefits of breast feeding.
It is believed that there are fair chances that guts in the breast-fed infants would be able to activate certain genes which may escalate the immunity to another level. While the research has showed that breastfeeding can do a lot to maintain intestinal stability, there is need that further research is done to explore the underlying theory further.