Breastfeeding Benefits

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Submitted By leavethekettleon
Words 1145
Pages 5
Designed by nature, human milk has properties that are specially fitted to fulfill the nutritional needs of neonates. Ever since the first studies on breastfeeding were published, the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have been modeled after their glowing findings. Yet, breastfeeding remains a contentious health issue in the United States, with most mothers choosing to formula feed their infants. Researchers and nutritionists alike point to breast feeding's unique chemical blend of nutrients – the optimal amount of carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, saturated fatty acids, medium-chain triglycerides, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, and cholesterol – which separate it from formula feeding as the ideal food for infants. Beginning with the essence of our makeup, the protein found in human milk has anti-infection properties. It comes in two kinds – whey comprises sixty percent; casein makes up the remaining forty percent. Such a balance of proteins allows for simple, fast digestion for infants. Of this whey majority, lactoferrin prevents the growth of iron-dependent bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Secretory IgA and immunoglobulins both work to protect the infant from viral and bacterial infections, such as E. Coli and allergies. Likewise protecting against E.Coli and Salmonella, the enzyme Lysozyme has anti-inflammatory properties that promote the growth of beneficial intestinal flora, as does Bifidus factor. Unlike Lysozyme, however, Bifidus factor does so by creating an acidic environment where harmful bacteria cannot survive. Alphalactalbumin, another easily digestible whey protein, is a multifunctional example of human's milk tailored design. Its low protein content ensures an equally low nitrogen influx to infants' developing kidneys. Yet,…...

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