Immune cells that are ready to take action against invaders like bacteria have been found in women's breast milk, researchers say. They say the presence of this SWAT team of immune cells called innate lymphoid cells, or ILCs, in human breast milk is more evidence of the benefits of breastfeeding.
Short term, the ILCs in breast milk may help protect newborns from infection, and longer term help babies develop their own protective immune system, they report in JAMA Pediatrics.
Workshop: Achieving Developmental Milestone Training (Lagos. May, 2017)
Pediatricians & other healthcare professionals participated in a capacity building workshop hosted by Wyeth Nutrition Science Centre Africa, with trainings focused on basic knowledge & skills of Surveillance, Screening & Assessment of developmental progress during infancy.
The early-life gut microbiome is important for the development of immune competence in newborn infants. Mode of delivery, perinatal antibiotic use and diet are most influential to this end. Breastfeeding is associated with lower risk of gastrointestinal and respiratory infections, and possibly lower risk of diabetes and obesity, while the effect on allergies is not so clear. This suggests that breast milk-specific components may contribute. Among them are the non-digestible human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), the third largest solid breast milk component that varies primarily due to the maternal genotype for the Secretor and Lewis genes and stage of lactation. Other milk oligosaccharides are also relevant here.
Over the last decades, epidemiological and interventional studies have shown that nutrition and some specific nutrients impact brain and cognitive development and brain health, functionally and structurally. Moreover, managing nutritional habit through specific diet has a positive impact on health. Some specific nutrients, such as the polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have also been shown to promote brain development and support cognitive function during aging. However, our understanding of how nutrition affects brain function remains very limited.
In March 2017, Wyeth Nutrition, in collaboration with the Nestlé Research Center (NRC) in Lausanne, began a nutritional intervention clinical trial in healthy babies to study the effect of myelin-relevant nutrients on cognitive development in the first 24 months of life. The information generated will help better understand how nutrition impacts myelination, brain and cognitive development.