Breast milk has long been touted as the best for protecting a baby’s health but cow’s milk also offers some protective properties, researchers have discovered.
Mother’s milk guides the development of bacteria in a baby’s intestines, nourishing a very specific population of “good” microbes that, in turn, provides nourishment and protects the child.
But now scientists from the University of California, Davis, have identified the compound in the milk that supplies this nourishment, and has shown that it can be obtained from cow’s milk.
This work could result in using cow’s milk to provide that compound as a prebiotic for infants.
Mother’s milk coevolved over millions of years with mammals, and with their beneficial gut microbiota that it helped to thrive. Read more