Hey Everyone! Let's talk breastfeeding this week! The body is just incredible. Every single day I am constantly amazed and in awe of the capabilities of the body. This week while researching this newest blog topic, it wasn't surprising that studies are constantly being conducted on the body's ability to not only heal itself, but it is also able to provide the best inborn medicine against fighting illness.
Lets talk about breast milk. I am a huge proponent of breastfeeding. The World Health Organization says that a woman should breastfeed or formula feed for a minimum of two years. Exclusively breastfeeding/ formula feeding for 6 months before introducing solids. Its crazy that in America, an average of only 32% of American women breastfeed beyond 3 months. Listen, life is hard. Sometimes, things don't come easy. Women have to work. NO JUDGEMENT HERE! All parents are doing their best. JUST LOVE YOUR CHILDREN! My goal in writing this blog post is to educate, not to shame. With that being said, lets talk about some exciting science!
Vanderbilt University recently published an exciting study about the non-toxic antibacterial properties in the sugar molecules (carbohydrates) in breast milk. In the past, most research has been done on the proteins in breast milk which are far easier to study as well as much more researched. So this study is pretty revolutionary because we are learning more about the different molecules in breast milk. The study started because the growing epidemic of antibiotic resistance that is happening all over the world. Researches decided to start by studying pregnant women because they often tend to be a natural host for the bacteria Group B. Strep (Streptococcus). They questioned that if because pregnant women were often natural carriers (30% of women) would these women's breast milk contain inborn and innate antibacterial properties to fight off this bacteria?? WELL...the body is so stinkin awesome because it did!! They found that the sugars/ carbs (not just the proteins) in breast milk contained NON-TOXIC antibacterial properties that enhanced the efficacy of the antibacterial proteins in the breast milk. Not only did the milk carbohydrates/ sugars attack and KILL the bacteria directly, but also attacked the biofilm that is used by bacteria to protect themselves (and is often not able to be killed by antibiotics). One of the scientists said, "our results show that sugars [in the breast milk] have a one-two punch. First they sensitize the target bacteria and then they kill them. Biologists sometimes call this 'synthetic lethality' and there is a major push to develop new antimicrobial drugs with this capability."
This is such a groundbreaking study because it shows that the body is just incredibly adaptable and responsive to invaders! It also shows that scientists are suggesting that pharmaceuticals should be modeled after the body's natural and inborn immune system,
***In no way is the blog post or article suggesting that one should replace antibiotics or ignore the advice of their medical providers. We are not giving medical advice or advocating for a non pharmaceutical approach when addressing Group B. Strep in mothers or infants.
Dr. Bree Katz is a graduate from Parker University with a Doctorate of Chiropractic and two Bachelor of Science degrees in Psychology and Health and Wellness. She is a local Family Chiropractor at Uprise Chiropractic in Dallas with an emphasis on pregnancy and children.