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A study reveals the secret benefits of breastfeeding for a child's immunity throughout his life



A research study by the University of Birmingham's NHS Foundation revealed new insight into the biological mechanisms of the long-term positive health effects of breastfeeding in preventing immune system disorders in later life.


According to a report by the journal Neuroscience, the regulatory T cells expand in the first three weeks of life in breastfed babies, and they double their abundance in breastfed babies.


Breastfeeding is known to be associated with better health outcomes in childhood and throughout adulthood, and previous research has shown that babies who receive breast milk are less likely to develop asthma, obesity and autoimmune diseases later in their lives compared to those who are exclusively breastfed.


Until now, the immune mechanisms responsible for these effects were not well understood. In this new study, researchers discovered for the first time that a specific type of immune cell called regulatory T cells expands in the first three weeks of life in breastfed babies, which is nearly twice as high. Abundance of formula-fed babies These cells also control the baby's immune response against the mother's cells transferred to the breast milk and help reduce inflammation.


Moreover, the research showed that specific bacteria, called Veillonella and Gemella, which support regulatory T-cell function, are more abundant in the gut of a breastfed infant, and the researchers emphasized that the results of the study, published in the Journal of Allergy, underscore the importance of breastfeeding.


Senior author Jirjili Tolde, a researcher at the University of Birmingham and a consultant pediatrics and neonatology, said that the effect of the type of milk received on the development of the immune response had not been previously studied in the first few years and the prominent importance and early intervention of this specific cell type in breastfeeding was unknown. The researchers emphasized that this study will contribute to improving the formula of formula milk in order to exploit these immune mechanisms.

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