Breastfed babies are believed to suffer fewer allergic conditions, like eczema and food allergies, than formula-fed babies; yet the reason has not been well understood. Now, a new study by Penn State College of Medicine finds that small molecules found in most humans' breast milk may reduce the likelihood of infants developing allergic conditions like atopic dermatitis and food allergies. The researchers said the discovery could lead to strategies for mothers -- such as encouragement and support for breastfeeding or dietary and exercise interventions -- to help lower the odds of their babies developing allergies.
Steven D Hicks, Ramin Beheshti, Desirae Chandran, Kaitlyn Warren, Alexandra Confair. Infant consumption of microRNA miR-375 in human milk lipids is associated with protection from atopy. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2022; DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/nqac266