Nutritional Gems for Developing Babies Found in Human Milk

A study led by the University of California, Davis, suggests that human babies seem to need more of a nutritional boost from breast-milk proteins than do babies of their closest primate relative rhesus macaque monkeys.

The researchers hope that the study will give us a better understanding of human breast-milk composition as well as figure out the basic nutrients which should be included in baby formula.

Scientist said, human milk offers a recipe for human nutrition during the baby time, however, so much stays unknown about milk’s molecular composition, and therefore a new technique for analyzing milk proteomics was developed to solve earlier situations.

The researchers found out 1606 proteins in human milk and 518 proteins in rhesus macaque milk by using the new technique. 88 milk proteins were common to both species, however at different levels. Meanwhile, 93% of those shared proteins were more plentiful in human milk than in macaque milk.

For instance, it turned out that human milk contained significantly higher levels of milk proteins which contribute to digesting fat-like compounds; slow protein digestion; and possibly boost the absorption of iron, vitamin B-12, and vitamin D.

The scientist noted that the proteins found at higher levels in human milk may play a role in babies’nerve development because those proteins include specific proteins that are enriched in human brain tissues. The key target for future research focused on improving baby formula will be the proteins that seem to be helpful for the nerve development of human babies.