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How breast milk prevents food allergies

IANS  |  Toronto 

The unique composition of complex sugars in may prevent future in childhood, a benefit not found in infant formula, thus underscoring their potential for therapeutic interventions, say researchers.

Human oligosaccharides (HMOs) are structurally complicated sugar molecules unique to human and are the third most abundant solid component in human milk after lactose (a different type of sugar) and fat.

They are not actually digestible by infants, but act as a prebiotic to help guide development of the infant gut microbiota -- a key influencer of

In the study, published in the journal Allergy, skin prick tests, at one year of age, showed that breast-fed infants did not display sensitisation to

"A positive test is not necessarily proof of an allergy, but does indicate a heightened sensitivity," said Meghan Azad, at the in Winnipeg,

"Sensitisations during infancy don't always persist into later childhood, but they are important clinical indicators and strong predictors of future "

Previous studies showed that breastfed infants have a lower risk for a variety of medical conditions, such as wheezing, infections, and

In the study, the team analysed milk samples and data from 421 infants and mothers.

The researchers did not an individual HMO associated with food sensitisation, but the overall HMO composition appeared to play a role.

Composition of HMOs in is variable and determined by factors like lactation stage, gestational age, maternal health, ethnicity, geographic location and exclusivity, they noted.

--IANS

rt/vd

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 17:42 IST
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