Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cancer Prevention in Breast Milk

As you have heard me say, time and time again, breast milk is a powerful fluid. One that is unmatched by man. There are many properties in breast milk that do incredible things and many are still being studied for their wondrous capabilities. Did you know that babies who are breastfed are less likely to fall ill from childhood cancers and mothers who breastfeed are less likely to suffer from breast, ovarian, cervical and uterine cancers?
Breast milk contains cells HAMLET cells (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made LEthal to Tumour cells) which are composed of proteins and fatty acids that directly attack cancer cells and not healthy cells in babies! The linked article is one of many research articles out there, but I found this one to have the most medically detailed explanation of the process and the benefits.

Microscope images that show HAMLET's interaction with biological membranes. Using a red, fluorescent substance that shows the location of HAMLET, the researchers can clearly demonstrate that it binds to the cell membrane of a tumor cell.
(Photo Credit: University of Gothenburg)

Mothers who breastfeed their infants also reap the rewards as studies show that the longer a woman breastfeeds the greater the reward. In fact, those who breastfeed two years or longer reduce their risk by 50%. Women who breastfeed have lower levels of estrogen, reduced amount of ovulation and may be less likely to store carcinogens. All of these factors contribute.

All in all, breastfeeding continues to show us its amazing qualities and we should all be supportive of breastfeeding, especially for extended periods of time. The following link is a Canadian Poster displaying the ingredients found in both breast milk and in infant formulas. I'm always in awe of how many things are in breast milk vs formula. It goes to show that man has a long way to go before they can make anything even close enough to mimic breast milk. Breast milk will always be best and even though I like the slogan "breast is Best", I believe that breast is normal and that infant formula is inferior.

More to come.... How infant formula in inferior and is in fact harmful to your baby's health. Stay tuned!

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