Saturday, June 30, 2007

Probiotics in mother's milk

bifidobacterium longum
Why is breast milk best for a baby? One of the reasons is the optimal mix of all nutrients. One more reason has been found by functional food scientists in Finland: Bifidobacteria of various species, mainly Bifidobacterium longum (see picture). Bacteria of this type are also called probiotics, they are widely used in functional food that is designed for better health.

Details: The Finnish scientists have analyzed breast milk by two methods of genetic fingerprinting: polymerase chain reaction and real-time polymerase chain reaction. They have found the following Bifidobacteria: Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium animalis, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium catenulatum.

Bifidobacteria are one of the main components of human gut flora. They aid in digestion, help to fight bad bugs and keep the immune system working well without going allergic. The beneficial bugs in breast milk allow the baby to quickly build up a strong gut flora which gives it the best protection against diseases. And mama certainly will be happy when baby does not cry from colic caused by bad digestion.

Photo credit: Mark Schell, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

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