Breast milk sugars may prevent the development of food allergies in infants.
That’s according to a study done at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, led by researcher Meghan Azad.
“We found that moms with particular types of sugars in their breast milk had babies that were less likely to develop food sensitivity,” Azad said, “so this is really interesting, because we know that allergies have increased a lot in the past number of years.”
“We’ve also seen from other studies that breastfed babies sometimes have a lower risk of allergies, but not always. So, we’re always wondering why isn’t this consistent and so one reason may be that some mothers have different compositions of their breast milk.”
Azad told Global News that the study measured the sugars in the breast milk of over 400 mothers and followed their babies to see which ones developed food sensitivities.
She said that some interesting things have emerged from the study’s findings, like variables that hinge on where a mom lives.
“The study is national, so we have moms participating from Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto. We see some differences by the city where you live. We’re also looking at how these oligosaccharides change the gut microbes of the babies that we know are really important in training the immune system.”
The study was published in the June issue of Allergy.