Wednesday, September 10, 2003

And Another Thing

I've seen this tidbit about breastfeeding in several places. I was intrigued by the idea that breastmilk has over 300 "ingredients" and most baby formulas contain only about 40.

I'm curious to know what the components of breastmilk really are. In my searching, I found this excellent article about the difference between breastmilk and formula. This bit particularly caught my eye, but didn't completely answer my question:

There are ingredients in breastmilk that cannot be duplicated in a factory because breastmilk is a living biological fluid; it contains, for example, hormones, active enzymes, growth factors, immunoglobulins, anti-inflammatory components, cytokines (involved in immune function) and other compounds with unique structures. These special ingredients allow breastmilk to stimulate and support the maturation of the nursling’s immune system, as well as the growth and maturation of other organ systems.

Here's another bit about the differences between breast milk and cow's milk. And there's this site, and this one, but I still don't see three hundred.

Can anyone out there tell me what ingredients have been found in breastmilk to date?

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