Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Breast milk v formula.

Prof Sharon Donovan studied the genes expressed in the intestines of babies fed either breast milk or formula in the first 3 months of life.

“For the first time, we can see that breast milk induces genetic pathways that are quite different from those in formula-fed infants. Although formula makers have tried to develop a product that’s as much like breast milk as possible, hundreds of genes were expressed differently in the breast-fed and formula-fed groups.”

Many of the differences found by the scientists were in fundamental genes that regulate the development of the intestine and provide immune defence for the infant.

Donovan also would like to learn how bacteria in the gut differ in these babies. “Now we’ll be able to get a complete picture of what’s happening in an infant, from the composition of the diet to the microbes in the gut and the genes that are activated along the way.”

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May 13, 2010 - Posted by | Breastfeeding, Child Health, Genetics, Science, Sharon Donovan, Success

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