Human breast milk

The researchers emphasise that this explorative study was unable to fully explain precisely how the stress system and metabolism work together in this early period and in brain development. It is unclear whether the impaired development is due to the fact that stress-exposed mothers produce less nutritious milk, or if the problem lies with absorption in the body or brain of the young mice, who may also experience stress as result of the mother's unpredictable behaviour. However, according to Naninck the results are still valuable: 'Scientists tend to view metabolism and stress as unrelated systems, but we have demonstrated that in fact they work together in early brain programming. We hope that our insights can contribute to new nutrition strategies to mitigate the lasting effects of a seriously disturbed childhood.'

Before this kind of nutritional intervention can be used in people, it first has to be established whether human mothers and babies under serious stress, experience similar disturbances to mice. Currently, the group's first step is to investigate whether the nutritional content of human breast milk also changes under stress.

Science Daily/SOURCE :

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