In the course of numerous studies, scientistsargued that breastfeeding has a positive effect on children's health. For example, this was proved in 2016, when American scientists analyzed the condition of 180 children who fed breast milk during the first 28 days of life. In the course of scientific work, they found that the substances contained in breast milk positively affect the development of the intelligence of infants. Scientists from California and Los Angeles became interested in exactly which substances contribute to the development of the child’s mental abilities and came to the conclusion that the so-called oligosaccharides play a large role in this. But what are these substances and in what period of time do they influence the mental abilities of children the most?
The study and its results werewritten in the scientific journal Plos One. Scientists knew about the benefits of breast milk oligosaccharides (OGM), which are found in large quantities in breast milk. The most useful oligosaccharide is the so-called 2’-fucosyllactose, which reduces the likelihood of a baby having digestive problems and strengthens the immunity necessary to protect against infectious diseases. It turned out that in addition to this, oligosaccharides are responsible for the proper development of the brain.
The benefits of breast milk
In a study by American scientists50 pairs of mothers and their children participated. The authors of the scientific work determined the concentration of oligosaccharides in the breast milk of women and evaluated the level of cognitive development of children 24 months after their birth. To determine the level of development, the Bayley-III test was used, which was created by psychologist Nancy Bailey and is a standard system for analyzing the development of mental development in children aged 1 to 42 months.
Thanks to new technologies, we were able to quickly andaccurately determine the amount of oligosaccharides in breast milk of women and find the relationship between differences in the composition of milk with specific parameters in children, - said pediatric specialist Lars Bode.
In the course of scientific work, it turned out that increasedthe amount of 2’-fucosyllactose in breast milk in the first month of feeding increased cognitive development in children up to 2 years of age. However, six months after the birth of the baby, the benefits of the oligosaccharide began to decline. This may be a hint that the beneficial effect of 2’-fucosyllactose on the development of the child’s brain is relevant only in the first years of his life.
According to scientists, their discovery allowsdevelop recommendations for mothers who have problems with breastfeeding. Perhaps in the future, researchers will develop a way to increase the amount of 2’-fucosyllactose in breast milk, or they will find another way to maintain a sufficient rate of development of mental abilities of children who eat special mixtures.
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In general, not only hisnutrition. For example, recently, German scientists found that if women use certain cosmetics, they can increase the risk of obesity in their children. More details about this scientific work and its results can be found in our special material.