Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Magic Ingredient In Breast Milk Protects Babies' Intestines

Date:
June 30, 2009
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
Scientists have discovered that an ingredient in human breast milk protects and repairs the delicate intestines of newborn babies. The ingredient called pancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor, or PSTI, is found at its highest levels in colostrum -- the milk produced in the first few days after birth. The new study highlights the importance of breastfeeding in the first few days after the birth.

Scientists at Queen Mary, University of London have discovered that an ingredient in human breast milk protects and repairs the delicate intestines of newborn babies.

The ingredient called pancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor, or PSTI, is found at its highest levels in colostrum - the milk produced in the first few days after birth.

The lining of a newborn's gut is particularly vulnerable to damage as it has never been exposed to food or drink. The new study highlights the importance of breastfeeding in the first few days after the birth.

The researchers found small amounts of PSTI in all the samples of breast milk they tested but it was seven times more concentrated in colostrum samples. The ingredient was not found in formula milk.

The researchers examined the effects of PSTI on human intestinal cells in the lab. When they inflicted damage to the cells they found that PSTI stimulated the cells to move across the damaged area forming a natural protective 'plaster'. They also found that PSTI could prevent further damage by stopping the cells of the intestine from self-destructing. Additional research suggests that PSTI could reduce damage by 75 per cent.

PSTI is a molecule which is normally found in the pancreas where it protects the organ from being damaged by the digestive enzymes it produces. Research suggests that it plays a similar protective role in the gut.

The team at Queen Mary have also found that PSTI is produced in the breast but until now they did not know exactly why.

Professor Ray Playford of Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, part of Queen Mary, University of London led the study.

He said: "We know that breast milk is made up of a host of different ingredients and we also know that there are a number of health benefits for babies who are breast-fed.

"This study is important because it shows that a component of breast milk protects and repairs the babies delicate intestines in readiness for the onslaught of all the food and drink that are to come.

"It reinforces the benefits of breast feeding, especially in the first few days after birth."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Marchbank et al. Pancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor us a major motogenic and protective factor in human breast milk. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol, 296: G697-G703, 2009

Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Magic Ingredient In Breast Milk Protects Babies' Intestines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629200754.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2009, June 30). Magic Ingredient In Breast Milk Protects Babies' Intestines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629200754.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Magic Ingredient In Breast Milk Protects Babies' Intestines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629200754.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins