Breast milk as a functional food
Harley, John P. Department of Biological Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky.
- Evolution of the mammary gland
- Breast-feeding is advantageous to the infant
- Probiotics and breast-feeding
- Objective conclusion
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Breast (mammary gland) milk is considered the best source of nutrition for human infants and the young of all mammals, and it probably played a critical role in the biological and cultural evolution of human beings. The study of breast milk is now booming, thanks to new analytical techniques, a growing interest in milk–microbiome connections, and the resurgence of breast-feeding in humans. Knowledge of the importance of milk in nourishing the young is not new. It is mentioned in Lamentations 4:3 (dated to 586 BC), which states, “Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young.”
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